Eyewitness News

Mystery on the Hudson

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Bill Ritters daily take on the news.

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

This never figured to be a cut and dry case of boating tragedy. And tonight it's living up to that.

Did alcohol play a role in the crash of a pleasure boat into a barge last weekend on the Hudson River - a crash that killed a young woman who was about to be married, and also killed the man who was going to be her groom's best man?

Cops say it did.

But the family of the victim says they have their doubts.

The restaurant where the group of 6 had dinner before the boat ride reports they were served a total of 4 drinks. Of course we don't know what was consumed before or after that. Why it's taking so long for toxicology tests, I don't know.

Now, the parallel universe part of this tragedy - the barge the boat smashed into. Was it inadequately lit? There are now just too many people who say it was for skeptics to ignore. Doesn't undermine the allegations by police that the driver was drunk, it just adds to the perfect storm of calamities that occurred.

The barge - moored on the river with parts for the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge - had lights that met federal safety standards. But are those standards not up to the safety standards for boaters? There are many who say the barge simply couldn't be seen.

We'll have the latest at 11 about the investigation - this as wakes are held tonight for the victims.

Also at 11, another reminder (as if we needed it) of just how vulnerable we all are to getting stuck either getting into our out of Manhattan. A dump truck this afternoon dumping its load, but not where it should have. And it shut down both outbound tubes of the Lincoln Tunnel. Two-hour delays. Can you imagine?

We're hoping it clears out before the newscast at 11, but the bigger issue about our vulnerability has piqued our interest.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast (get ready for a change tomorrow!), and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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