Limo in deadly NY crash recently failed inspection, governor says

Tourist-spot crash in upstate New York kills 18 in limo and 2 bystanders
Emergency personnel respond to the scene of a deadly crash Saturday in Schoharie N.Y
Author

10 October, 2018

A weekend crash in upstate NY that killed 20 people, including 18 in a limousine headed to a birthday party, was the deadliest transportation-related accident in almost a decade, authorities said.

The governor said the limo failed a state safety inspection, which checks for things like suspension and brakes.

Cuomo told reporters the limousine driver had not been licensed to drive a such a vehicle, and that the company would be ordered to cease and desist operations through the investigation.

He said a federal government and state police investigation are ongoing, and the cause of the accident remains unclear.

He added, "It's not supposed to be on the road". The limo hit an empty auto at high speed and eventually fell into a ravine, resulting in the deaths of the driver, all 17 passengers, and two pedestrians.

Authorities said a 2001 Ford Excursion limousine traveling southwest on State Route 30 "failed to stop" at an intersection with State Route 30A and flew into the parking lot of the nearby Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe.

CBS2 has learned the company pulled four vehicles out of service after failing inspections over the past two years.

The governor said NY would request a cease-and-desist order from the courts to prevent the company, Prestige Limo, from operating until the investigation was completed.

They were headed for an upstate NY brewery but never made it, officials said. "This is the most deadly transportation accident in this country since February of 2009".

Amy Steenburg was also a newlywed.

"The entire GF community is extremely saddened by this incident and we are working closely with the families to provide comprehensive support", Laura Kelly, the company's vice president of global communications, said in a statement. All of Ms. Steenburg's sisters, and Mr. Steenburg's brother, Rich, also died in the accident. "I want the families to know we will be with you", said Dr. In a Facebook post, the store said it would remain open through the weekend despite the "horrific accident in front of our business".

"These were young couples, just got married and had their whole lives ahead of them", said Victoria Abeling, another aunt of the four sisters that were killed.

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Local officials said the limo was speeding down a hill and crashed into bystanders in front of the popular Apple Barrel County Store in Schoharie.

"They were wonderful girls", Douglas said.

She and her husband, Axel Steenburg, were newly married.

"They were lovely girls, full of life". She was one of the four sisters killed.

A total of 20 people were killed over the weekend in the U.S. state of NY after an SUV-style limousine careened out of control, local police said on Sunday.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said there were seat belts in the limo.

Axel's 34-year-old brother was also killed in the crash. Those kinds of altered vehicles have anxious officials because after-market modifications can affect a vehicle's structural integrity and safety, said Peter Goelz, former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board.

A relaxed weekend afternoon turned into chaos at an upstate NY spot popular with tourists taking in the fall foliage when a crash involving a limousine left 20 people dead, officials said Sunday. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., asked the NTSB to investigate limo accidents nationwide, but nothing changed beyond deeper investigations.

"They were the Four Musketeers, " he said.

A lawyer for the limo company suggested the driver was unfamiliar with the roads.

People place flowers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, at the scene where 20 people died as the result of a limousine crashing into a parked and unoccupied SUV at an intersection a day earlier, in Schoharie, N.Y.


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