An Irish American community is in mourning after a tragic speedboat accident claimed the lives of bride to be Lindsey Stewart and her partner’s best man Mark Lennon.
Mark Lennon’s parent are from Longford and they are very well known in Irish circles in upstate New York.
They are said to be devastated as the search for their son’s body continues.
The pair lost their lives and groom to be Brian Bond was seriously injured in the Hudson River accident on Friday night, 25 miles from New York.
Stewart and Bond were set to marry in just two week’s time with Lennon as their best man.
The speedboat they were travelling in to cross the Hudson was involved in a high speed collision with a barge.
The New York Times reports that the driver of the boat Jojo K. John was accused of driving the vessel while intoxicated and has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault.
The 30-year-old Stewart and her 35-year-old fiancé were in a Stingray speedboat with four friends when it struck a construction barge just south of the Tappan Zee Bridge around 10:40.
Both Stewart and best man Lennon, 30, were in the front of the boat at the time of the accident and were thrown into the river according to police.
Officers found the body of a woman matching the description of Stewart floating just offshore on Saturday. Lennon is missing, presumed dead.
Friends and relatives of the wedding couple gathered on the banks of the Hudson on Saturday morning, placing two white roses in the water.
Stewart’s heartbroken mum Carol told reporters: “She is supposed to be married two weeks from today. It can’t end like this.”
Childhood sweethearts, the couple had gone out to dinner with a group of friends in Piermont, N.Y., 25 miles north of New York City, before taking the boat to cross the river to go to Tarrytown.
Bond was knocked unconscious during the accident and was hospitalized with a serious head wound. The speedboat driver John was also hospitalized with a head wound.
Rockland County sheriff’s office chief William Barbera said that at least one of the passengers called 911 but was disoriented and could not communicate the exact location.
Police alerted the Coast Guard and immediately launched a rescue effort.
Three barges are lashed together just south of the bridge and all had warning lights according to local police.
The barges are being used in the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge, a $3.9 billion project that has just got underway.
Lindsey Stewart’s stepfather Walter Kosik told local media that the couple have known each other since they were 10 years old and used to go to church together.
He said: “They have been friends the whole time, and they fell in love about 3 1/2 years ago.”
The bride-to-be worked as an art teacher in Westchester County while her fiancé worked in insurance in Nyack.
Local restaurant valet Anthony Apolito saw the survivors being carried ashore by emergency services.
He told the New York Post: “There was a lot of people that didn’t look too conscious and a lot of people in neck braces. One guy, his face was covered in blood.
“They were still stunned from the crash, they didn’t know what was going on.”