Autopsy report shows Jose Fernandez took cocaine, drank alcohol before boat crash

Medical Examiner's Office previously holding report at request of FWC

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Hatzel Vela - Cuba Correspondent

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - An autopsy report released Saturday states that Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, 24, took cocaine and drank alcohol last month shortly before he died in a fatal boat crash.

Fernandez's blood alcohol level was 0.147 percent, well above the legal limit of 0.08, according to the report.

An autopsy report for Eduardo Rivero, 25, states that he too had taken cocaine and consumed alcohol the morning of the crash. Emilio Macias, 27, had alcohol in his system, but was not under the influence of any illegal drugs, the report said.

The reports show that all of the men suffered blunt force injuries to the head and torso areas. Macias also suffered blunt force injuries of the extremities.

Click here to read full autopsy reports.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the medical examiner had not publicly released the autopsy reports after they were completed at the request of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is conducting a criminal investigation into the fatal boat crash.

"When a local news organization, which had submitted a public records request for the information, was informed that it would not be released due to the Fish & Wildlife investigation, the news organization filed a lawsuit against the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner," Gimenez said in a statement. "Since the information was being held at the Fish & Wildlife's request, the county asked the agency to join in the public records lawsuit as a co-defendant. Fish & Wildlife refused to be a party to the lawsuit."

Gimenez said the decision was made to release the autopsy reports because the county's "role in the matter is complete."

Fernandez's family attorney does not think the reports should have been released, telling Local 10 News reporter Hatzel Vela that the investigation is ongoing and that there is still a chance arrests could be made.

Ralf Fernandez, who is not related to the late Marlins ace, did not say who he believes might be arrested in the case or what charges they could be facing.

He said there is also evidence that Jose Fernandez was not driving the boat the morning of the crash, because he was talking on the cellphone right before the impact and giving directions to whoever was driving the boat.

"He was giving directions generally to the person who was driving the boat, and he heard as they were being given shortly before he lost communication," Ralf Fernandez said.

The three friends were in the pitcher's boat, a 32-foot SeaVee, when it struck a jetty Sept. 25 off Miami Beach.

According to a search warrant affidavit, an associate medical examiner who performed the autopsies after the crash said that "all three bodies, individually, had a strong odor of alcohol emanating from them."

Click here to read boat accident search warrant and affidavit.

The affidavit also states that the boat, "Kaught Looking," was going at a high rate of speed and that the driver of the vessel was driving with "recklessness" that was "exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol."

The affidavit also confirms that the three men were at American Social Bar & Kitchen in the Brickell area in the morning hours of Sept. 25, and that a receipt for alcohol purchased was found in the pocket of one of the occupants.

The name of the occupant was not released. It's unclear who was driving the boat.

The Miami Marlins declined to comment on Fernandez's autopsy, citing the ongoing investigation.

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