PIERMONT, N.Y. (AP) — A bride-to-be and her fiance's best man were missing in the Hudson River on Saturday after a speedboat carrying six friends crashed into a construction barge in a nighttime accident near the Tappan Zee Bridge. Four others, including the groom-to-be, were hurt.
The crash happened late Friday, shortly after the 21-foot Stingray left the village of Piermont for a short trip across the river to Tarrytown, about a half-hour's drive north of New York City, authorities said.
Rescuers searched for the missing boaters for several hours overnight before suspending the hunt. They resumed the search at about 9:30 a.m. Boats and dive teams from several law enforcement agencies were participating in the search, but as midday came and went there was no sign of the missing victims.
The missing woman was identified by her mother as 30-year-old Lindsey Stewart, of Piermont.
"We are praying for a miracle," Carol Stewart said as she waited on the shore. She said her daughter was to be married Aug. 10.
Four other people, including the groom-to-be, Brian Bond, 35, were hospitalized after being pulled from the damaged boat. Bond was knocked unconscious in the crash but later woke and was able to call 911, Carol Stewart said.
Lindsey Stewart's stepfather, Walter Kosik, said the couple have known each other since they were 10 years old and used to go to church together.
"They have been friends the whole time, and they fell in love about 3 ½ years ago," Kosik said.
They were to be married at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Pearl River, with a reception at a Hudson Valley winery, he said.
Rockland County Sheriff's Department Chief William Barbera declined to identify the victims. He said the barge, one of several loaded with construction material for an upcoming replacement of the bridge, was equipped with lights, but it was still difficult to see on the water so late at night.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.
The New York State Thruway Authority, which is overseeing the bridge project, said it was reviewing safety procedures.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time," the authority said in a statement. It added that the lighting on the barges appeared to be functioning normally.
Pile driving that had been scheduled to take place Saturday was suspended because of the accident.