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Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez was Operating Boat During Fatal Crash

The Florida Wildlife Commission concluded its investigation in to the death of Jose Fernandez and his friends and determined the Marlins pitcher was operating the boat.

by Mike Vorkunov
Mar 16 2017, 3:35pm

© Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Fernandez was operating the boat that crashed last September and killed the Marlins star and two friends. Fernandez was under the influence of alcohol and the boat was speeding when it crashed, according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission report obtained by ESPN. The report was the result of a six-month investigation by the FWC.

The report concluded Fernandez had been the operator because the damage to his body matched that on the boat's center console, and his DNA was found on the steering wheel and throttle, according to the Miami Herald.

Fernandez died in the early morning of Sept. 25, 2016 when Kaught Looking, a 32-foot boat, carrying him, Eduardo Rivero, and Emilio Macias hit a jetty in Miami. The report concluded that Fernandez was the operator that night and that he had violated multiple laws, including boating under the influence, manslaughter, reckless or careless operation of a vessel, and vessel homicide.

Fernandez had a .147 BAC and a toxicology report found "noted presence of cocaine" too. The boat was going 65.7 mph when it hit the jetty, killing all three passengers from blunt force and drowning, the report said.

The report contradicts a claim made by Fernandez's lawyer that he was not driving the boat. The lawyer had said that Fernandez was on the phone when the boat hit the jetty, yelling for the operator to steer left. That call, with a nightclub manager, investigators found, occurred 12 minutes before the crash. Fernandez's estate is facing negligence lawsuits from the families of Rivero and Macias.

"Fernandez operated [the boat] with his normal faculties impaired," the report said, according to the Herald. "In a reckless manner, at an extreme high rate of speed, in the darkness of the night, in an area with known navigational hazards such as rock jetties and channel markers."