Official documents detailing the aftermath of the boat crash that took the life of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and two companions say the victims’ bodies smelled strongly of alcohol.
Breaking from past claims that alcohol played no part in the accident, the documents say the bodies recovered by rescue divers after the September 25 crash near South Beach, Florida, exhibited a strong alcohol smell according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Miami Herald published on October 26.
Authorities have released neither toxicology nor autopsy reports of the victims citing exemptions allowed for criminal investigations. But to date no charges have been announced against anyone nor has there been any indication of just who might be under investigation since all the people on the boat died.
A picture posted on the ace’s Instagram account showed him in a bar on his last night posing with friends, one of whom holds a Corona can in his hand.
The documents obtained by the paper also revealed that the driver of the boat was traveling a a very high and “reckless” rate of speed leading up to the crash.
The accident is still under investigation by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The popular 24-year-old star pitcher and two others died when their 32-foot boat hit a jetty at a high rate of speed early on the morning of September 25. Photos of the accident scene show a partially submerged and severely damaged boat at the edge of an outcropping of rocks near the shore. The Coast Guard came upon the scene at 3:30 a.m. that Sunday morning.
Also killed were Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, both close friends of the player.
Thus far the exact cause of death has not been released, but authorities have noted that the victims had water in their lungs and multiple injuries consistent with the accident. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission has confirmed that it has taken possession of toxicology and autopsy reports.
Fernandez earned a 16-8 record with a 2.86 ERA for this past season. The player led the National League in strikeouts per nine innings pitched with 12.5. In four years in the majors he realized 38 wins to 17 losses and a 2.58 ERA.
Fernandez won the Rookie of the Year award in 2013 and made the All-Star team that season as well as the 2016 season. Tommy John surgery kept him out of action for most of 2014 and 2015. But he had really returned to form in his fourth and final season.
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