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The boat crash that killed MLB star Jose Fernandez would have led to charges if he lived

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The death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez last year stunned and devastated Major League Baseball and his fans. At just 24 years old, he was considered a rising superstar.

However, if Fernandez had survived the crash, he would have faced charges for multiple crimes, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wrote in a Thursday report.

Fernandez was piloting the boat when it crashed and was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time, the 46-page report said.

Fernandez would have faced manslaughter, boating under the influence, vessel homicide and reckless operation of a vessel. 

The report also included a text message exchange that said Fernandez wasn't capacitated to operate a boat. "He's been drinking and is not in the best state of mind," the message read.

An autopsy concluded that Fernandez and Eduardo Rivero, another person involved in the crash, had cocaine and alcohol in their systems.

"The presence of cocaethylene does confirm that alcohol and cocaine were consumed at the same time, from 15 minutes to 2 hours of most recent use," the report said.


"No matter what the report concluded, nothing will ever diminish Jose's everlasting positive connection with Miami and the Miami Marlins," Marlins President David Samson said in an email. "Nor can it lessen the love and passion he felt for his family, friends, teammates and all his fans in South Florida and around the world."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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