A New York man received a sentence of two years in county jail Tuesday for piloting his boat drunk and crashing it into a Tappan Zee Bridge construction barge, killing two boat passengers aboard.
A distraught Jojo John apologized to his victims’ families before being handed his sentence.
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“I’m so sorry,” John said, turning to the full Rockland County court gallery to face the parents of the deceased Lindsey Stewart and Mark Lennon. “I love Lindsey and Mark with all my heart.”
John, of Nyack, N.Y., will serve his two years in the Rockland County Jail for the July 26, 2013, wreck that killed Stewart, 30, of Piermont, N.Y., and Lennon, 30, of Pearl River, N.Y.
A number of family members donned shirts honoring the victims in court. Steward ad Brian Bond, who was one of those injured in the crash, were planning to wed less than a month later; Lennon was to have been the best man at their wedding.
On the night of the crash, John had taken his friends out for a night boat ride after having dinner and drinks at a restaurant in Piermont.
John spoke for several minutes before he was sentenced by state Supreme Court Justice William Kelly.
He described July 26, 2013 as “the saddest day of my life,” continuing that Stewart and Lennon were two of his closest friends he wished he would have died that day instead of them.
“A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think of Lindsey and Mark,” he said, fighting through the tears. “I miss Lindsey’s hugs and her great smile and I miss Mark’s infectious laughter.”
Prosecutor Stephen Moore said John was being held responsible for his actions that fatal evening.
“What we’re talking about here is reckless conduct,” he said, noting that John has a substance abuse problem. He spent 18 months in rehab just before the boat wreck and was on probation for a cocaine possession conviction. Part of the time he will serve on his sentence is for violating his probation.
Tests determined John had a blood-alcohol level in excess of 0.15% at the time of the crash, and found cocaine metabolites in his system. The legal limit of alcohol for driving a boat and a vehicle is 0.08%.
NY Man Sentenced 2 Years Jail Time For Killing 2 Boat Passengers