Drone video shows deadly limo crash site in upstate NY

Frederick Owens
October 9, 2018

Prestige Limousine expressed condolences to relatives of Saturday's crash in Schoharie (skoh-HAYR'-ee). Its owner, Shahed Hussain, was out of the country, officials told reporters. Its vehicles were inspected five times in the last two years, and the company has had four vehicles taken out of service.

The modified limo that crashed and killed 20 people wasn't even supposed to be on the road, New York's governor said Monday.

The driver wasn't properly licensed and the limo had failed a state safety inspection last month and shouldn't have been on the road, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D, said, according to Associated Press.

"I think the owner of Prestige has a lot of questions to answer", Cuomo said. Most stretch limos are made by cutting a normal vehicle or SUV in half, then welding in plates to serve as a longer frame and roof between the halves.

Sumwalt says that the stretch limousine had at least some seatbelts, but that it was unclear whether any of the passengers were wearing them.

"I just wanted to say Axel Steenburg I love you more than words can say!" read the post.

A manager of the store said the limo was coming down the hill at "probably" 60 miles per hour, the New York Times reported.

The crash "sounded like an explosion", said Linda Riley, of nearby Schenectady, who was on a shopping trip with her sisters and had been in their parked auto at the time at the store, which sits near a T-junction of two NY state highways. He is survived by his 10-year-old daughter and 14-year-old stepson, reported the Times. Ms Abeling said in an interview.

The 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was travelling about 270 kilometres north of New York City when it failed to stop at a stop sign at an intersection, police said.

There were conflicting reports about where the passengers in the limousine were headed.

According to witnesses, the white SUV-style limo failed to halt at a stop sign, and was travelling at around 60mph (95km/h) when it flew through an intersection, hit an empty vehicle outside the Apple Barrel Country Store & Cafe, and then hurtled across a drainage ditch. Two pedestrians were also killed. Stretch limos typically go without these pillars, making a side impact much worse than it ever would be in a auto.

All 18 people in the limousine died along with two pedestrians in the incident on Saturday afternoon in the town of Schoharie, police confirmed. Two bystanders also were killed. The graphic shows the site where it happened.

Authorities have not released all of the victims' names, but the close-knit group included newlyweds, artists, athletes and young parents.

A limousine crash over the weekend that killed 20 people has focused attention on rules governing the ungainly vehicles, which can be as long as 30 feet and are exempt from the crash standards that apply to new cars and trucks. "Our lives have been changed forever".

"It is with heavy hearts that we are sad to announce the Star Spangled Family has lost one of our beloved coaches, Mary Dyson and her husband, Rob", they wrote. Jackson was a special education teacher in Amsterdam, said Santabarbara, who represents the part of NY where the crash happened.

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"He loved, hugged and cried with his family and friends like their problems were his", he said.

Needless loss of life is always tragic, but the concentration of loss in this close-knit group of people is deeply so.

Many of those in the limousine were related to one another.

Safety issues on such vehicles have arisen before, most notably after a wreck on Long Island in July 2015 in which four women on a winery tour were killed.

"She was the sweetest", her coworker Deneen Palmateer told the local news organization. "They're all dead. They were in there".

Local officials have previously said the intersection was risky, with the potential to cause a deadly crash.

The brewery trip had been planned to celebrate her niece Amy Steenberg's 30th birthday, Douglas told CBS News.

Four sisters - Mary Dyson, Abby Jackson, Allison King and Amy Steenburg - all perished in the crash, state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said.

The fundraiser, set up by a friend of the girls' grandparents, Sarah Maltzman, is not just to help them with the expenses of raising two children, but also to start a college fund for them. "They'd do anything for you, and they were very close to each other". Karina Halse said she wasn't able to reply before the fatal crash and said the news of her sister's death, who worked as a waitress, has left her in a "place where I've never felt this type of pain before".

"More accidents than I can count", she said in an email. "She was creative from the day that she was born".

The intersection of State Route 30 and State Route 30A where the crash occurred has always been flagged as a risky one, with efforts made tho re-structure the intersection seven years ago.

The NTSB, the New York State Police and the New York State Department of Transportation are all investigating the crash.

State Police investigators have recovered the vehicle's airbag control module, which is the equivalent of the vehicle's black box, Maj.

Sumwalt said it was early in investigators' process. "They had everything going for them". But we already know how current regulations, enforcement and the design of these vehicles affect the chances of something like this happening.

He added the investigation is focused to find "not only what happened, but why it happened so we can keep things like this from happening in the future".

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