N.Y. Limo Crash Is Deadliest US Transportation Incident Since 2009

Frederick Owens
October 9, 2018

It took emergency workers more than 30 minutes to remove the injured passengers, according to the NTSB.

The passengers of the limo - including four sisters, newlyweds and young couples - were all celebrating a birthday party, according to United States media. In an email to The Associated Press, she complained that the junction where the crashed occurred is accident-prone.

Brian Hough, an assistant professor of geology at SUNY Oswego, and his father-in-law, James Schnurr, were standing in the parking lot and killed as a result of the crash. So was the limo's driver.

Kindlon said he doesn't think those infractions contributed to the tragedy.

The driver was also supposed to have a commercial driver's license with passenger endorsement, but did not, the governor said. "The driver did not have that proper license", Cuomo added.

The phone line at Prestige Limousine was disconnected.

Reports suggest the vehicle was transporting a wedding party. CBS2 has learned the company pulled four vehicles out of service after failing inspections over the past two years.

"Here we have 20 lives that have been lost".

The state ordered the owner, Prestige Limousine, shut down while an investigation continues into what caused Saturday's crash in Schoharie. The automaker has a program that certifies companies that modify vehicles to Ford specifications, but it was unclear whether the limo in Saturday's crash was altered by one of those companies.

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

"There's a bit of a Frankenstein approach, where a vehicle is chopped up and put back together with parts that were not originally designed for that vehicle", said Deborah Hersman, president of the National Safety Council advocacy group and a former NTSB chair.

Investigators are also looking into whether the passengers were wearing seat belts at the time.

A reporter for local news site Spectrum News, Mercedes Williams, tweeted images and footage from the scene of the incident, which took place near a store and cafe on routes 30 and 30A in Schoharie County.

"I'm not surprised because there are so many owners that don't care", said Meyer.

No skid marks were observed but the damp road conditions could have mitigated any skid marks, he said.

Unsurprisingly, the crash has raised questions about the safety of limos and how well companies maintain them.

"We were incredibly saddened to learn of this terrible tragedy".

"That's going to be revisited", Goelz said.

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Tom King, 35, said his four sisters who died - Abigail Jackson, Mary Dyson, Allison King and Amy Steenburg - "were very tight".

Amy Steenburg was also a newlywed.

Sumwalt added that most of the victims were found inside the vehicle following the crash and one or two victims may have been ejected.

Erin and Shane McGowan had been married for just five months, the Times Union of Rochester, New York reported.

In another, she wrote, "When we get to brewery we will all b deaf".

"It's a frightful tragedy, and there's no words to describe how we feel", Abeling said.

"They were lovely girls, full of life".

"My heart is completely sunken", Karina said.

"It's tragic. disgusting. I can't even begin to even explain". "He was helping to raise his two nieces", she said. She's mourning the loss of two mothers. "They'd do anything for you, and they were very close to each other". In an interview with ABC News, Barbara Douglas appeared stunned as she confirmed four of her nieces were among those killed.

"Don't believe what they say".

He posed as a terrorist sympathizer in at least three investigations.

"We don't know the cause of the accident, if it was a vehicle malfunction, if it was a driver malfunction (or) a driver error", Cuomo said.

A limo speeding down a hill hit bystanders Saturday afternoon at the Apple Barrel Country Store in Schoharie, about 270 kilometres north of New York City. Resident Bridey Finnagen said it was loud enough to hear from down the road.

The intersection is a known danger spot that has long anxious locals, even after an overhaul following a deadly 2008 accident there, according to Apple Barrel manager Jessica Kirby. Then I heard screaming.

"It's been a source of concern to the NTSB for years", he said.

And these modifications can affect handling and a vehicle's ability to withstand crashes. Officials worked with the state to outlaw heavy trucks, she said, but there are still accidents. "State police are working with federal and local authorities to investigate the crash, and I have directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy".

The crash was so catastrophic, it stunned even veteran safety experts.

Twenty people died in what is the deadliest U.S. transport accident in nearly a decade.

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