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Investigators find Jose Fernandez was driving boat in deadly crash

03.16.17 at 10:10 am ET
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Miami HeraldMiami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, drunk and speeding, was behind the wheel and to blame when his boat plowed into a jetty off South Beach, killing two others, police concluded in a report released Thursday.

Had Fernandez lived, he would likely have been charged with a host of crimes including manslaughter, according to the final report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Investigators made the conclusion because the physical damage to Fernandez’s body matched the damage on the boat’s center console. His DNA was also found on the throttle and steering wheel.

The boat, investigators concluded, was traveling at more than 65 miles per hour — just over the top speed of the vessel.

“Fernandez operated [the boat] with his normal faculties impaired, 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,” the report concluded.

The release of the report comes nearly six months after Fernandez and two others were killed when the pitcher’s boat plowed into a jetty at Government Cut off South Beach just before down on Sept. 25.

Two others on the boat with him, Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, also were killed.

Yikes.

By all accounts, Fernandez was a great guy who made a mistake. A HUGE mistake.

After his death, he was honored by the Marlins and mourned by other teams around the league. If this information had been known at the time, he might have been honored differently. Maybe not as enthusiastically.

He did a lot for baseball and it’s sad he died, but he also killed two people. He knew better than to risk his life driving a boat drunk and on cocaine, especially with a baby on the way.

Fernandez’ daughter, Penelope, was born in February to his girlfriend, Maria Arias.

Fernandez’ lawyer had claimed all along Fernandez was not behind the wheel of the boat. This finding will certainly help the lawsuits filed against the Fernandez estate by the families of the other two men who were killed.