Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was the “probable” driver of the racing boat that crashed into a Miami Beach jetty on Sept. 25, 2016, and killed the baseball star pitcher and two other men. This, according to a report issued Thursday by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which investigated the incident.
The report detailed a seating chart that had Fernandez at the helm of the boat, based on “real data” collected during the investigation. This included the pitcher’s fingerprints and DNA on the steering wheel and throttle. Additionally, the report listed drugs and liquor as contributing factors in the crash.
Mr. Fernandez’s 32-foot ‘Sea Vee’ crashed into the Government Cut north jetty in Miami at 65.7 mph at around 3 a.m. on Sept. 25. Fernandez and the boat’s other passengers — Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25 — were also ejected.
The report included a text message exchange between Mr. Rivero and Ms. Maria Arias, who was Fernandez’s girlfriend. She told Rivero that they had argued earlier and asked him to take care of Fernandez. “He’s been drinking and is not in the best state of mind.”
Initially, officials were unable to identified Fernandez by his driver’s license photo due to the face trauma he suffered. They ultimately searched internet photos of Fernandez’s tattoo, which depicted a baseball surround by gears, to positively identify him. They also found a Major League Baseball ID card inside his wallet.
An earlier autopsy concluded Fernandez and Rivero both had cocaine and alcohol in their systems.”The presence of cocaethylene does confirm that alcohol and cocaine were consumed at the same time, from 15 minutes to 2 hours of most recent use,” according to the 46 page report .
Investigators found that Fernandez and Rivero met at American Social bar in Miamii at about 1 a.m. on Sept. 25. They spent hour and 45 minutes at the establishment. The three men left at 2:42 a.m. and the crash happened at 3:02 a.m.
The report indicated that it was calm in Miami that night, with visibility at 10 miles, when the crash occurred.