The Herald Bulletin

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July 27, 2013

Body found in river where bride-to-be vanished

PIERMONT, N.Y. — Authorities pulled a female body from the Hudson River on Saturday near where a bride-to-be and her fiance's best man were hurled into the water when a speedboat carrying six friends crashed into a construction barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Officials said they were working to confirm that it was the body of 30-year-old Lindsey Stewart, who has been missing since the Friday night accident.

The search for the missing man, identified by Stewart's family as Mark Lennon, was continuing, said Rockland County undersheriff Robert VanCura.

The crash happened shortly after the 21-foot Stingray left the village of Piermont for a short trip across the river to Tarrytown, about a half-hour's drive north of New York City, authorities said.

Stewart's mother, Carol, said earlier Saturday that she was praying for a miracle.

Four other people, including the groom-to-be, Brian Bond, 35, were hospitalized after being pulled from the damaged boat. Bond was knocked unconscious in the crash but later woke and was able to call 911, Carol Stewart said.

Lindsey Stewart and Brian Bond's wedding was scheduled for Aug. 10.

Lindsey Stewart's stepfather, Walter Kosik, said the couple have known each other since they were young children and used to go to church together.

"They have been friends the whole time, and they fell in love about 3 ½ years ago," Kosik said.

They were to be married at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Pearl River, with a reception at a vineyard in Hillburn, he said.

Rockland County Sheriff's Department Chief William Barbera declined to identify the victims. He said the barge, one of several loaded with construction material for an upcoming replacement of the bridge, was equipped with lights, but it was still difficult to see on the water so late at night.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The New York State Thruway Authority, which is overseeing the bridge project, said it was reviewing safety procedures.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time," the authority said in a statement. It added that the lighting on the barges appeared to be functioning normally.

Pile driving that had been scheduled to take place Saturday was suspended because of the accident.

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