Staten Island Ferry crash history

In this Oct. 15, 2003 file photo, emergency workers walk through the destroyed interior of the Staten Island Ferry boat Andrew J. Barberi, which slammed into a pier at the ferry terminal in Staten Island, N.Y. The Staten Island Ferry boat Andrew J. Barberi has crashed into the dock at Staten Island for a second time, Saturday, May 8, 2010. Authorities say the same vessel as the 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash has struck a pier at the dock on New York's Staten Island again, and some passengers were injured. (AP Photo/ NTSB, Mike Hvozda, Pool, File)

May 8, 2010 3:42:46 PM PDT
Saturday's ferry crash brings back memories of a deadly ferry crash 6 ½ years ago. While that crash involved the very same boat, the cause of the accident back then had nothing to do with mechanical failure.

It was one of the worst mass transit accidents in the city's history when the Andrew J. Barberi hit the Saint George Terminal at full speed on October 15, 2003.

11 people died and several others were seriously injured in the accident.

Some of the seats and chairs were mangled inside the boat.

The crash occurred when the pilot, Richard Smith, passed out behind the wheel.

He was suffering from extreme fatigue and had taken painkillers.

Smith pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter and lying to investigators.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The city ferry director, Patrick Ryan, was sentenced to a year in prison after he admitted he failed to implement or enforce a rule requiring two pilots be present during docking.

The Andrew Barberi returned to service on July 1, 2004.

Exactly five years later, there was yet another accident involving the Staten Island Ferry. A boat, the John J. Marchi, lost power and slammed into a pier in St. George.

15 people were injured, including two NYPD officers and three crew members.

Investigators determined that the boat had a history of electrical problems.