SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Almost three weeks after the death of George Pino, the driver of a 29-foot Robalo ship CCharged with misdemeanor related to a 2022 Labor Day weekend boating accident, newly released photos have brought disturbing revelations for families affected by the tragedy.
The Miami Herald obtained images from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that showed more than 60 cans and bottles of alcoholic beverages, including Bud Lights, Truly Hard Seltzers and Coronas, found aboard the ship. An empty champagne bottle and a partially used liquor bottle were also discovered.
The incident happened on Labor Day weekend in 2022, when the boat struck a fairway marker in Biscayne Bay near the Upper Keys, throwing 12 passengers, including Pino and his wife, out of the water.
Tragically, the accident claimed the life of 17-year-old Lucy Fernandez and left 18-year-old Katy Puig with a permanent disability. Both young women were graduates of Lourdes Academy in southwest Miami-Dade.
While initial summaries of the incidents did not admit alcohol consumption, the report unearthed more details. One of the girls on board mentioned consuming two to three alcoholic drinks and saw Pino down one of them too.
FWC spokesman Rodney Barreto noted that a thorough inspection of the ship, conducted a day after the crash, revealed hidden alcohol containers that were not immediately visible at the scene of the accident. On the spot, however, Pino was not subjected to a sobriety test by state investigators.
“The law does not allow our officers to force a blood draw or breath test without good reason,” Barreto said in a statement to the Miami Herald. “Nobody admitted to consuming alcohol in interviews.”
Lucy Fernandez’s family have expressed frustration and skepticism after the release of the report and Pino’s allegations.
“It is an insult to our family, who had no choice but to accept the consequences of the accident, must now also accept the numerous inconsistencies that are contradicted by the FWC report,” the family said in a statement after the Reports and those of Pino indictment came out.
Pino is currently facing two misdemeanor charges, each of which, if proven, could result in up to 60 days in prison. In addition, fines or suspended sentences may be imposed.
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