Itâ€™s reported that the Staten Island Ferry that crashed into a St. George Terminal dock last night had lost power moments earlier. The 7:10 PM crash left 15 of the more than 750 Shaolin bound passengers with minor injuries. Ferry Chief James DeSimone compared the power failure to â€œa car suddenly losing its brakes,â€ saying the captain “took the appropriate action.” Mandatory drug and alcohol tests were given to all crew members.
The last time the Staten Island ferry crashed in 2003, 11 people were killed and 71 others were injured when the boat smashed into St. George Terminal at full speed. It was later determined that the ferryâ€™s pilot, Richard Smith, had passed out at the controls as a side effect of the drowsiness-inducing painkillers he had taken. While still on the boat, Smith attempted suicide by slitting his wrists, then slipped away and tried again with a pellet gun. Smith and his supervisor, Patrick Ryan, were sentenced to 18 and 12 months respectively in prison.