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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Autopsy: José Fernández Had Alcohol, Cocaine In System At Time Of Boat Crash

Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann / Getty
Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann / Getty

Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández had a blood alcohol level of .14 and cocaine in his system when he died in a boat crash last month, according to an autopsy.

The autopsy, released Saturday by the medical examiner department of Miami-Dade County, shows that both alcohol and cocaine were present in Fernández’s system at the time of his death. Fernández and two other men, Emilio Jesus Macias and Eduardo Rivero, died when riding in a boat that overturned on a jetty between Miami Beach and Fisher Island early on the morning of September 25.

Macias had a blood alcohol level of .04 and Rivero one of .06, per the autopsies. Rivero also had cocaine in his system.


It is not clear who was driving the boat, which was owned by Fernández, when it wrecked. Florida’s legal blood alcohol limit for operating a boat is .08, meaning that Fernández was the only one of the three to be legally drunk at the time of the crash.

Update (3:15 p.m.)—A search warrant affidavit obtained by the Miami Herald earlier this week shows that investigators found evidence pointing to the boat’s driver operating at a high speed with “recklessness” that was “exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol.”

Initial reports from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on the weekend of the crash claimed that alcohol was not a factor and that the boat was not owned by Fernández, but both statements were soon backpedaled.

Update (4:20 p.m.)—Fernández family attorney Ralph Fernández (no relation to the pitcher) says there is strong evidence that José Fernández was not operating the boat at the time of the crash, according to a Miami Herald update Saturday afternoon.

The evidence: A witness who was on the phone with Fernandez “at the point of impact,” the lawyer said.

The witness told police and Fernandez’s lawyer that the pitcher “was telling the person driving to go left, to left, bear away from the shore, and moments later, communications ceased,” the attorney said.

The witness’s account was backed up by phone records, according to Fernandez’s lawyer. He believes Macias was behind the wheel of the SeaVee-brand boat dubbed the “Kaught Looking.”


[Miami Herald]

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