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Jose Fernandez was operating boat in fatal crash, officials say

A nearly six-month long investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission concluded that former Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was operating the speeding boat that crashed and ultimately killed Fernandez and two others on Sept. 25, 2016.

The final report found that alcohol and drugs were involved. The FWC also concluded that Fernandez violated a number of boating laws, including “Boating Under The Influence Manslaughter, Vessel Homicide and Reckless or Careless Operation of a Vessel.”

Fernandez’s blood alcohol level was .147 and, according to the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s toxicology report, there was a “noted presence of cocaine.”

The 32-foot boat was travelling 65.7 miles per hour at the time of impact. Fernandez and his passengers, Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Macias, died at the scene due to blunt force impact and drowning.

The report concluded that “Fernandez operated V-1 with his normal faculties impaired, in a reckless manner, at an extreme high rate of speed, in the darkness of night, in an area with known navigational hazards such as rock jetties and channel markers.”

The FWC also stated that they concluded Fernandez was operating the boat based in part due to bruises on his body that matched the damage on the boat’s center console. Investigators also discovered his DNA on the steering wheel and throttle.

Fernandez’s family attorney, Ralph Fernandez, was critical of the report, saying investigators were “out of their league.”

A legal battle looms on the horizon for Fernandez’s estate, as the families of Rivero and Macias have both filed wrongful death lawsuits. Ralph Fernandez said the the FWC report would have “no impact on that litigation,” according to ESPN.

Jose Fernandez incident report

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