Family and friends of Irish American Mark Lennon gathered at St. John the Baptist Church in Piermont on Friday to bid their final farewell to the Pearl River native.
The eldest son of Irish-born parents, Lennon, 30, was killed on the Hudson River near the Tappan Zee bridge on Friday night along with bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart, just a fortnight before she was due to marry his best friend Brian Bond.
The swirling sound of bagpipes could be heard as Lennon's remains were carried into the church
"It's rough. A nice guy like this. Something should have never happened," a family friend John Ferris, told Westchester News.
Stewart was laid to rest on Thursday after a funeral mass at at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, in Pearl River - where she was due to marry Bond on August 10th.
The two victims were thrown from the 19-foot Stingray Bowrider when it struck a construction barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge, 25 miles from New York on July 26. The bodies of the bride-to-be and her fiance’s best man were recovered from the Hudson River on Wednesday.
Husband to be Bond and two other friends were injured in the tragic crash. Skipper, Jojo John, 35 of Nyack, has been charged with felony counts of vehicular manslaughter and assault.
Both families released a statement that due to poor lighting, no one on board could see the barge as they approached it. They also insist everyone on the boat was sober.
“They did not brace for impact and could not identify what they had hit — even after impact — as they desperately worked to direct the first responders coming to their aid,” the statement read.
The barges are part of the massive $3.9 billion Tappan Zee bridge replacement project.
“Compounding our agony is the rush, by some, to cast blame on or even malign the victims,” said the statement from Carol Stewart-Kosik and Walter Kosik, mother and stepfather of Stewart, and Kevin and Dympna Lennon, Mark Lennon’s parents, who originally hail from Co. Longford.
The victims’ families questioned why the accused was charged before toxicology results were completed.
A passenger on board the boat on the fatal night has also claimed that the barges were not lit up.
“It felt like we hit a wall, and everything just stopped,” John Schumacher told The Journal News.
“We couldn’t figure out what we hit — even after we hit it.”
“I heard Brian screaming on the phone, I guess to the police, notifying them of the emergency,”
“I saw Jojo bleeding very badly. Everybody on the boat was bleeding badly. But I saw no one on the front of the boat. Brian told me they were in the water. We were looking for them, but it was dark in the water.”
Schumacher also confirmed that alcohol was not a contributor to the accident.
“It was not a ‘booze cruise,” he said
“It wasn’t a party night. It was a casual ride. Jojo invited us out. I had work the next day.”
“Jojo didn’t appear to be drunk,” he said. “I would never have gotten in the boat with him if he appeared drunk.”