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What ifs

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
July 30, 2013 1:42:00 PM PDT
There are a lot of what-if's in that tragic boat accident in the Hudson River. A bride-to-be was killed. So, too, was the best man in the upcoming wedding. And the pilot of the boat, a friend, is now charged with driving drunk and vehicular manslaughter.

He ran into a barge that was moored in the River, loaded with equipment to start construction on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. There's been a ton of criticism that the lights on the barge were too dim - and even though they met federal safety standards, they weren't bright enough.

The "what ifs" abound. What if the barge had been better lit? Would the driver had been able to spot it and avoid it? What if the pilot hadn't been (allegedly) drunk? Would he have seen the barge had it not been for the booze?

All good questions. This might be something of a perfect storm of events that reminds us just how quickly things - how quickly life - can turn. For the worse.

It might be that both questions are on point. If the barge had been better lit and if the driver hadn't been (allegedly) drunk, then this wouldn't have happened.

We'll have the latest on this tragedy, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, we're on Staten Island, where some survivors of Hurricane Sandy are tonight furious with FEMA for sharing their personal information with a local non-profit. FEMA says it often does that, as service agencies can help victims of natural disasters. But the residents say they've been getting calls from the non-profit that they were not solicited.

A fascinating conundrum. Jim Dolan is on the story for us.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

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