20 dead in limousine crash in upstate NY


Following the death of 20 people in Upstate New York over the weekend in a limousine crash, many are wondering how safe stretch limos are.

Schoharie County is about 48 miles away from Albany, the capital of New York State.

Relatives of the victims said the SUV-style stretch limo was carrying two newlywed couples and children to a birthday party.

During a news conference, State Police First Deputy Superintendent Christopher Fiore did not mention whether the vehicle had been speeding and did not comment on whether anyone had been wearing seatbelts. The Highlander then struck and killed two pedestrians standing nearby.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Eric Weiss said a team of investigators was on the scene on Sunday.

"I've been on the board for 12 years and this is one of the biggest losses of life ..."

Saturday's crash in Schoharie was the deadliest transportation incident in the US since a 2009 plane crash in Buffalo, New York, killed 50 people, officials said.

Daily Gazette photos of the scene show what appears to be a white limousine down a small ravine off the road, near the Apple Barrel Country Store.

"Everyone was screaming 'call 911, does anyone know CPR?' And then the cops arrived", Riley said.

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"More accidents than I can count", Kirby said in an email, reported CBS, "We have been asking for something to be done for years".

Prestige Limousine issued a statement Monday expressing condolences to victims' families and saying it was conducting "a detailed internal investigation", while also meeting with state and federal authorities, according to The New York Times.

"They were together multiple times a week always hanging out", she said, noting that they threw many backyard parties.

Erin McGowan's aunt Valerie Abeling confirmed that her 34-year-old niece and her new husband, Shane McGowan, 30, were among the 20 people killed. That's because after-market modifications often affect a vehicle's structural integrity and safety. The store posted Sunday that it was open "and could use your hugs". "They would do anything for you and they were very close to each other and they loved their family", Douglas said. It said a limousine was one of the vehicles involved in the crash.

A crash involving a limousine at a popular upstate NY tourist spot killed 20 people, officials said Sunday.

It appears the task force was never formed, and almost three years after the grand jury's recommendation, it was unclear what, if anything, Cuomo's administration did in response.

Limousines built in factories are already required to meet stringent safety regulations, but when cars are converted into limos, safety features are sometimes removed, leading to gaps in safety protocols, the grand jury wrote.

First responders were shaken up by the carnage at the scene.

State police investigators worked into the evening Saturday reconstructing the crash.