Boat smacks concrete, sinks in NY; 4 die, 2 hurt

RED HOOK, N.Y. (AP) — A powerboat struck a concrete abutment along the Hudson River and sank before sunrise Sunday, killing four occupants and seriously injuring two others, authorities said.

Six people were aboard the 19-foot boat when it rammed into concrete footing not far from the shore line near Red Hook, about 45 miles south of Albany, according to Lt. John Watterson of the Dutchess County sheriff’s office. The boat was seriously damaged and began to sink in the shallow water.

The body of 26-year-old John J. Uvino of Saugerties was found in the water, and it appeared he was thrown from the boat on impact, Watterson said. Divers recovered the bodies of three other boaters: Robert P. Macarthur, 27, of Kingston; Deena C. Cordero, 26, of Kingston; and Jay J. Bins, 41, of Kingston.

Two boaters, 23-year-old Joseph J. Vehnick of Kingston and 27-year-old Jessica K. Hotaling of Hyde Park, made it to shore. Vehnick, who was badly injured, found a landline in a barn near the crash site and called 911 just before 6:30 a.m., about two hours after investigators believe the crash occurred, Watterson said. Both suffered multiple fractures and were being treated at area hospitals.

It wasn’t immediately clear where the boat was coming from or headed and who was driving, Watterson said. The medical examiner was conducting autopsies Sunday to determine the victims’ cause of death, he said.

Authorities found beer bottles inside the boat and believe the occupants might have been drinking, Watterson said. The boat’s bow and underside were heavily damaged, leading authorities to believe the driver had been speeding.

Part of the boat was still sticking out of the water when rescuers arrived. Its bow had smashed into the concrete, which may have been part of a dock or other shoreline structure there previously. It was unclear if it was marked off by a buoy, Watterson said.

The boat was pulled from the water and brought to an impound lot.

The powerboat, which has a single deck with no quarters below, is known as a bow rider because its passengers generally ride up front while the driver sits behind them.

The boat was registered to Arthur Fiore in Kingston, who couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday night.

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