Miami baseball star Fernandez was drunk, had cocaine in system at fatal crash

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Miami Marlins star Jose Fernandez, a dominant pro baseball pitcher and hero in Miami's Cuban community, was legally drunk and had cocaine in his system when he was killed in a boat crash in late September, an autopsy and toxicology report released on Saturday found.

The toxicology report showed Fernandez had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.147, nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08 for driving in Florida, and also had cocaine in his blood.

Fernandez, 24, and two other men were killed before dawn on Sept. 25 when their 32-foot boat struck a rock jetty off Miami Beach, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. It was unclear who was driving the boat.

Born and raised in Cuba, Fernandez tried three times to defect to the United States before arriving at age 15 with his mother, surviving harrowing conditions at sea.

The Marlins drafted Fernandez in the first round in 2011. He won National League Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was a two-time Major League Baseball all-star.

Ralph Fernandez, an attorney for the pitcher's family and a longtime friend who said he considered him like a son, said he was angry and disappointed at the report's release before the details of a full investigation are known.

"If indeed there was cocaine in his system, whatever the nominal amount is, still it is something that's completely out of character," Fernandez said.

The attorney said there was evidence that just before the crash, the pitcher was talking on a phone with a man who heard the player giving someone else directions on driving the boat, then a loud noise and the call dropped.

"Definitely, he wasn't driving," Fernandez said.

Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, were also killed in the crash. Both had alcohol in their system below legal limits and Rivero tested positive for cocaine, according to the reports.

All three men sustained blunt-force trauma to the head and other injuries, the reports said.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he ordered the reports released after the Miami Herald newspaper sued the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner seeking their release under open records laws.

Gimenez had withheld the information at the request of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, which sought to delay the release until it concluded a criminal investigation.

Gimenez said he ordered the records released after the state agency refused to join the county as co-defendants in the lawsuit.

A Fish & Wildlife spokeswoman said the report would provide invaluable information for the investigation.

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Tributes around sports for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez
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Tributes around sports for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez
Sep 26, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Hats of the Miami Marlins lay on the pitchers mound after the game to honor teammate starting pitcher Jose Fernandez at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
A fan signs the memorial mural as he mourns the death due to a boating accident of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, outside Marlins Park prior to a game against the New York Mets in Miami September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity
Sep 26, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins teammates gather around the mound to honor Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez before the game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A jersey hangs in the New York Mets dugout in honor of late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez before the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: The Tampa Bay Rays hang a jersey in their dugout honoring Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins during a game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on September 26, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker (12), left, leads his team in a moment of silence for Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez before the start of a baseball game at Nationals Park in Washington, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. Fernandez, the ace right-hander for the Miami Marlins who escaped Cuba to become one of baseball's brightest stars, was killed in a boating accident early Sunday morning. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
A Minnesota Twins jersey with the name of Jose Fernandez hangs in the dugout in memory of the Florida Marlins pitcher who died before a baseball game between the Twins and the Seattle Mariners, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Houston Astros' Yulieski Gurriel, right, places his hand on a jersey in honor of Miami Marlins' pitcher Jose Fernandez as Javier Bracamonte watches, before the team's baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Houston. Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami Beach on Sunday. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Miami Marlins' Adam Conley, pitches in the first inning wearing a number 16 shirt in honor to pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died on a boat accident Sunday morning, against the New York Mets on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: A fan holds a sign in honor of late Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez before the game between the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets at Marlins Park on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox reacts during a moment of silence in honor of deceased Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 25, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Fan's stand for a moment of silences for Miami Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez prior to a game between the Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns on September 25, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Fernandez was killed in a boating accident early this morning. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: The Chicago Cubs place a jersey in their dugout in honor of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez who died early this morning on September 25, 2016 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: A memorial to honor Marlins player Jose Fernandez who died in a boat crash at Marlins Park on September 25, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Johnny Louis/WireImage)
Sep 25, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly reacts at a press conference announcing the death of starting pitcher Jose Fernandez in a boating accident. The game between the Atlanta Braves and Marlins was cancelled at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; A memorial of flowers and photos are placed outside a gate at Marlins Park in honor of Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez who was killed in a boating accident. The game between the Atlanta Braves and Marlins was cancelled. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A moment of silence is observed for Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez pictured on the video board who was killed Sunday morning in a boating accident before the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Members of the Oakland Athletics observe a moment of silence in memory of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident early Sunday, before a baseball game against the Texas Rangers Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Sep 25, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher Kyle Barraclough kneels at the mound in honor of teammate starting pitcher Jose Fernandez who was killed in a boating accident. The game between the Marlins and the Atlanta Braves was cancelled at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
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