Lawyers protest findings of Jose Fernandez boat crash investigation

- Ralph Fernandez says the investigation into the deaths of Major League Baseball pitcher Jose Fernandez and his two friends was botched from the beginning.

"Talk about the disinformation and the clear false statements that are part of the report," said Fernandez.

On September 25, 2016, Fernandez and two of his friends Eduardo Rivera and Emilio Macias died when the boat they were on crashed into a jetty off Miami Beach.

Toxicology records showed Fernandez had cocaine and alcohol in his system.

Soon after, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission launched a criminal investigation which concluded the all-star pitcher was operating the boat.

Then came the lawsuits by Rivera and Macias families, claiming Jose Fernandez' careless actions that day cause their deaths.

But in a stinging rebuke, Ralph Fernandez calls the commissions report the product of a "woeful effort riddled with error."

He calls it an "investigatory disaster" that began when investigators failed to take pictures of the crime scene.

"In fact, most people involved in this don't allow anyone to touch the scene or recover the bodies until the photographs are taken," Fernandez explained. "We don't have to speculate as to what was done here." 

He says the boat was even towed away without being processed for evidence.

"Instead of doing forensics on scene they moved it. There was cross-contamination of the all the DNA elements," said Fernandez.

Fernandez says even the autopsy can't be trusted.

"Somehow the medical examiner conducted autopsies and went about their entire protocol of withdrawing blood and urine and so forth in the absence of a law enforcement official," said Fernando.

It's unclear why protocol was broken, but Fernandez points out, there could be a vested interested in the conclusions of the investigation.

"There's no secret that the father of one of the deceased is a member of law enforcement," explained Fernandez.

Ralph Fernandez says with so many missteps in the official investigation, there is no way to really know who was behind the wheel that day. But he's determined to get answers

"I think the people in Miami and across this country who kept their faith in Jose Fernandez are going to be vindicated and the people who challenged the legacy of that young man are going to be humiliated when this is said and done because justice is coming," said Fernandez.

FOX 13 reached out to officials from FWC for a comment on this story but have yet to hear back.

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