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Speedboat driver charged in crash that killed bride, best man

NEW YORK - A grand jury indicted the driver of a speedboat that crashed and killed a bride-to-be and her fiance's best man on New York's Hudson River after testing showed he had consumed nearly twice the legal limit of alcohol, officials said on Thursday.

The driver, Jojo John, had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent when he crashed the boat carrying six people from a wedding party into a barge on the Hudson River near the Tappan Zee Bridge, the Rockland County District Attorney's office said.

The bridge, a major transportation link across the river, is about 25 miles (40 km) north of central Manhattan.

"Drinking and driving is a lethal mix, as it appears to have been in this incident, which left several families shattered," Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said in a news release.

An attorney for John did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

John faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison on the top counts of the indictment, the release said. The charges contain six counts of vehicular manslaughter, two counts of criminally negligent homicide, and two counts of operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs, along with eight others.

The crash killed bride-to-be Lindsey Stewart and best man Mark Lennon and injured John and the other riders - including Stewart's fiance, Brian Bond.

The couple had been friends since childhood in the suburbs north of New York City and went to the same church in the town of Pearl River, several miles west of the Hudson, according to a report by News 12 Westchester television.