By Allison Malloy
NEW YORK (CNN) — A boat carrying members of a wedding party struck a barge in the Hudson River, leaving the bride-to-be dead and the best man missing, authorities said Saturday.
The body of Lindsey Stewart of Piermont, New York, was recovered Saturday about an eighth of a mile off shore, Rockland County Sheriff’s Chief William Barbera told CNN. The search for the best man, Mark Lennon, continues.
Both them went overboard when the 21-foot Stingray power boat hit a barge about 200 feet south of the Tappan Zee Bridge, located about 25 miles north of Manhattan.
The groom was among four others who were injured in the accident, the family said. He suffered a fractured eye socket, CNN affiliate WABC reported.
“The river at night is very dark, and even knowing the barges are there, they are difficult to locate until you are very close,” said Rockland County Undersheriff Robert Van Cura.
Stewart’s stepfather, Walter Kosik, said the family was notified about the accident early Saturday morning.
“That’s a nightmare I don’t wish on any parent — police coming over to your house waking you up out of your sleep to tell you an accident has occurred,” Kosik told CNN.
He wasn’t sure whether any of the six on the boat were wearing life jackets. Barbera said at least two of the injured wore jackets, but it’s not clear whether Stewart or Lennon did.
Stewart was a “real smart lady,” Kosik said, adding that the couple was a pair of “workaholics so I know they were planning a good future together.”
The bride’s mother, Carol Stewart, told the affiliate that some friends had picked up her daughter by boat, but she didn’t know where they were going.
The groom-to-be told the mother that they hit something and he called 911.
“She’s supposed to be married two weeks from today,” Carol Stewart said. “It just can’t end like this.”
The operator of the boat has been arrested. The operator is charged with first-degree vehicular manslaughter and three counts of second-degree vehicular assault.