Almost seven months after Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández and two of his friends passed away when Fernández's boat crashed into a jetty at high speeds, more troubling details are being released.
According to earlier reports, all three of the men were drinking the night of the September 25 accident. Fernández and friend Eduardo Rivero were reportedly also under the influence of cocaine.
At the time of the accident, the 24-year-old had a blood alcohol content level of 0.147. Rivero and Emilio Macias had blood alcohol concentration levels that were below the legal limit.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) spokesperson Lorenzo Veloz told The Miami Herald that he had been on Fernández’s boat “several times," but that Fernández had never been the boat's captain; it's unknown how much experience Fernández had captaining the boat.
Until now, it remained a mystery as to who was driving the boat at the time of the accident.
Despite Fernández's family attorney insisting he was not driving the boat when it crashed, investigators are now revealing in the FWC's final incident report that the pitcher was in fact driving the boat he named “Kaught Fishing.”
As Fox 43 reports, Fernández's fingerprints and DNA were found on the boat's steering wheel and throttle. The investigative report also disclosed that the digital forensic analysis of the vessel's GPS units reported that the men were traveling upwards of 66 miles-per-hour when the 32-foot-long boat crashed into the jetty.
Fox 43 reports:
Investigators concluded that Fernández violated a number of state laws, including boating under the influence manslaughter, vessel homicide, and reckless or careless operation of a vessel.
Investigators labeled the pitcher's actions as “reckless” and detailed the last hours the men were alive.
It was revealed early on in the investigation that Fernández had been involved in a dispute with his pregnant girlfriend.
According to the final incident report, his girlfriend had texted Rivero the night of the accident asking him to look after the pitcher:
She wrote that Fernández was “not in the best state of mind,” that they had argued recently and that he was “pushing me out the door.” “I just need you to take care of him.”
Fernández announced they were expecting their first child together just a week before his death.
Rivero was the same friend who sent a message saying “it wasn't his time” when another friend told him to be careful while on the boat with Fernández.
All three victims' causes of death were labeled as blunt force injuries to the head and torso areas after they were thrown from the vessel. Macias also suffered blunt force injuries to his extremities.
Now Rivero and Macias's families have filed wrongful-death lawsuits against the Fernández's estate. Each family is seeking two million dollars.
All three men have since been laid to rest.