NY limo crash: Newlyweds and young couples among 20 dead

Arturo Kim
October 9, 2018

The state ordered the owner, Prestige Limousine, shut down while an investigation continues into what caused Saturday's shocking accident in Schoharie, New York.

It is still not clear whether the limousine crash was the fault of the driver or a malfunction of the vehicle, Cuomo said, but that the National Transportation Safety Board and state police were investigating.

He said the company, Prestige Limousine, "has a lot to answer for".

But officials already saw some red flags, Cuomo said: The driver didn't have the necessary commercial license, and the vehicle failed a state inspection that examined such things as the chassis, suspension and brakes.

Calls to the company went unanswered. For example, in the state of MI, limousines in operation must pass a yearly inspection by a mechanic licensed by the state, according to the Limousine, Taxicab, And Transportation Network Company Act.

Relatives of the deceased said the group in the limo was headed to a birthday party when it crashed in the town of Schoharie, about 40 miles west of state capital Albany. 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.

"I have the best fiancee in the whole world", he wrote, adding a kiss-blowing emoji and a heart emoji. "It just hurts", Karina Halse told CNN on Monday while visiting the scene of the accident where her older sister, Amanda Halse, was killed. She was one of the four sisters killed.

Bill Waterson, who said he was invited to attend the wedding that the limousine was travelling from, said he could not believe what he had witnessed, describing it as "terrible", the Albany Times Union reported. Was he in any way impaired, either by drugs, alcohol or fatigue?

"Colgan Air up at Buffalo killed 40 people, 50 people, but this is the most deadly transportation accident in this country since February of 2009".

Halse's sister, Karina, who visited the crash site Monday, said Cushing and Halse were like "two peas in a pod". Manager Jessica Kirby said in an interview that it's only the latest accident to happen there.

"We do need to learn from this", he said.

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After failing to stop at the intersection with State Route 30A, the vehicle drove into a parking lot where it struck a parked 2015 Toyota Highlander.

Police said that a phone line had been set up to help assist relatives of the victims.

"They did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn't have to drive anywhere", Mrs Douglas added. "They were wonderful girls". Because if you didn't know any of those involved directly, you know members of their families or the close friends.

In limos in NY, rear passengers are not required to wear seatbelts, according by Sumwalt.

New York Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, Amsterdam mayor Michael Villa, New York state Sen.

The crash appeared to be the deadliest land-vehicle accident in the US since a bus ferrying nursing home patients away from Hurricane Rita caught fire in Texas 2005, killing 23.

A limousine that careered through a stop sign and crashed into a ditch, killing the 18 people on board and two pedestrians, had recently failed a safety inspection and should not have been on the road.

There were just 12 crashes involving large limos in the five years for which the agency has released statistics, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The driver, who was killed in the crash, has not been identified.

Records indicate that the limousine company involved in the crash is owned by a noted Federal Bureau of Investigation informant.

Three years ago, four women were killed in a limousine on Long Island as they toured wineries when the vehicle was hit by a truck.

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