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Jose Fernandez Had Cocaine, Alcohol in His System During Fatal Boat Crash

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Update 10/30: Ralph Fernandez, an attorney representing Jose Fernandez's family, tells the Miami Herald that evidence suggests the pitcher was not piloting the boat at the time of the crash. The attorney tells the daily that Fernandez was on the phone with a witness who heard him directing someone else just before the crash.

Jose Fernandez had cocaine and high levels of alcohol in his blood at the time of a fatal boat crash into a rock jetty just off Miami Beach last month that killed him and two passengers. That's the finding of the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner in a report just released to the press.

The medical examiner found .147 percent alcohol in Fernandez's blood — above the state's .08 percent limit for drunk driving, the report says.

The examiner also detected cocaine: .126 mg/L, according to the report.

The news comes a few days after an affidavit by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office obtained by reporters found that a "strong odor of alcohol" was detected at the scene of the crash by investigators and that the boat's pilot had been speeding with a “recklessness’’ that was “exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol.”

It's still not certain who was at the helm of the boat during the fatal crash September 25, but Fernandez's friends and relatives say it was likely the pitcher. The boat belonged to him, and one of the passengers — Emilio Macias — had met Fernandez only that night at a bar. The other friend, Eduardo Rivero, didn't know how to pilot a boat.

The medical examiner found that all three men died from blunt force trauma to the head and torso resulting from the crash. Both Rivero and Macias also had alcohol in their systems, and Rivero also tested positive for cocaine.

Neither an attorney representing the families of Rivero and Macias nor a Major League Baseball spokesperson immediately responded to a message from New Times about the new findings.

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