A report released Thursday says Miami Marlins pitcher and Alonso High School graduate Jose Fernandez was the only operator of his boat when it crashed into a Miami Beach jetty, killing himself and two others.
The report, released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is the first to place Fernandez at the helm of the 32-foot SeaVee when the boat crashed in the early morning hours of Sept. 25.
Fernandez was driving the boat about 66 mph when it struck the rocks jutting from the sea. Friends Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Jesus Macias were also killed.
Toxicology tests released in October turned up alcohol and cocaine in his system.
The report gives this account of what led up to the crash:
Fernandez, 24, left the Cocoplum Yacht Club at about 11:45 p.m. in his boat, called the Knaught Looking. He drove it through Biscayne Bay to Museum Park, just south of the MacArthur Causeway to Miami Beach. Rivero, 27, parked at Fernandez's home nearby and walked to the park to meet him on the boat.
The pair headed to American Social Bar and Kitchen in Brickell on the Miami River, where they met Macias at about 1 a.m. During the hour and 45 minutes they spent there, Fernandez bought two bottles of Don Julio tequila and three other drinks with gin and vodka. Macias bought three vodka drinks.
The group left American Social by water at 2:42 a.m.
Fernandez steered the boat east down the Miami River past the Port of Miami and through Government Cut, a channel between Fisher Island to the south and Miami Beach to the north. It continued into the Atlantic Ocean, passing a buoy that flashes every four seconds at the tip of the jetty.
Fernandez then turned the boat around at a slow speed about a half-mile offshore. The boat picked up speed as it headed back toward the entrance of Government Cut.
The boat crashed into the jetty and the impact ejected all three passengers. Authorities pronounced them dead at the scene just after 4 a.m. The boat came to a rest on top of the jetty.
Fernandez came to the United States at 15 from Cuba on a harrowing journey in a speedboat with his mother and sister.
A baseball career that started in his home country blossomed at Alonso High in Tampa, where he threw 94 mph fastballs his sophomore year in the state title game. He was drafted by the Marlins in 2011 and quickly became known by many as one of the best pitchers in the game.
Contact Kathryn Varn at (727) 893-8913 or email@example.com. Follow @kathrynvarn.