Alcohol may have played a factor in the tragic death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and two friends who perished in a boat crash off South Beach last month, according to a search warrant affidavit.
The Miami Herald reported that divers recovering the bodies of the 24-year-old Cuban ace and his friends Emilio Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, said they had a strong alcohol odor on them.
Investigators also found evidence that the boat’s driver was going at a high speed and with a “recklessness” that was “exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol,” according to the warrant released by the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office on Wednesday.
Boating Homicide While Intoxicated and Vessel Homicide is currently investigating the crash. It is unclear what charges, if any, could be brought in the case.
Fernandez, who escaped from Cuba by boat on his fourth try as a teenager, died on Sept. 25 when his 32-foot SeaVee named “Kaught Looking” slammed into the Government Cut north jetty.
It’s not confirmed that Fernandez was driving the boat.
According to the Herald, toxicology tests have been completed for all three men but have not been released by state investigators. They cite an exemption in the public records law for open criminal investigations.
The results of the autopsies have not been released either.
The affidavit said Fish and Wildlife investigators found a receipt for alcohol from American Social Bar & Kitchen in Brickell in the pocket of one of the men. Earlier that night Fernandez was seen at that establishment reportedly fighting with his girlfriend.
Investigators said the boat’s two Garmin GPS devices could reveal their route, angle of impact and possibly their speed at the time. The boat’s “black box” could also provide further information.
A week before his death, Fernandez announced he was expecting a baby with girlfriend Maria Arias.