For criminal justice students, the tragic Hudson River boating accident in Piermont NY this week, which killed a bride-to-be and the groom's best man, is an example of how murder can often result by mistake instead of malice.
Still, the law treats both types of killings equally harsh -- the operator of a boat that fatally crashed into an anchored barge near Manhattan on Friday night was charged this weekend with two counts of vehicular manslaughter and three counts of vehicular assault.
Everyone onboard his 21-foot power vessel was from future bride Lindsey Stewart's wedding party and all six were either injured directly in the head-on event or thrown from the watercraft and drowned.
Soon to have been wedded, Brian Bond, 35, was knocked unconscious from the impact and suffered a broken eye socket as well. He telephoned 911 when he regained consciousness, but rescue efforts were hindered because he didn't know where he was.
Although the barge's anchor lights were on at the time of the collision, officials say these would have been difficult to detect that evening, especially at the reckless speed which Jojo John, 35, is believed to have been careening.
He is also suspected of operating the vehicle while intoxicated and, accordingly, was arraigned in the hospital where he's currently himself recuperating.
Saturday the body of a woman presumed to be that of 30-year-old Lindsey Stewart was finally recovered from the river, and today crews continue to search for best-man Mark Lennon, 30, who still remains missing.
The crime scene of the Hudson River boating accident at Piermont NY is still being combed, but those criminal counts the driver now faces is an awful reminder that the rules of the road also apply when navigating busy waterways.
On land or at sea, drunk driving is against the law.