Limousine In Deadly Crash Had Been Modified To Fit More Passengers

20 killed after limousine crashes in upstate New York, authorities...

20 killed after limousine crashes in upstate New York, authorities...

The crash turned a relaxed Saturday afternoon to horror at a rural spot popular with tourists viewing the region's fall foliage.

Reuters was not able to reach Prestige Limousine for comment and the company's listed phone number was disconnected. The owner, former Federal Bureau of Investigation informant Shahed Hussain, operates his business out of a "low-budget hotel", per the Times, and seems to have dispatched a vehicle with unreliable brakes and a shoddy suspension system.

"The family believes that unbeknownst to him he was provided with a vehicle that was neither roadworthy nor safe for any of its occupants", the lawyer, George Longworth, said in a statement.

Twenty people were killed in rural upstate New York when a limousine collided with another vehicle, New York State Police said on Sunday.

The New York intersection where a limousine crashed, killing 18 people headed to a birthday party, is notoriously known as a risky intersection that officials have attempted to fix without success, a nearby store owner and officials said. Local media reported the limousine was carrying a wedding party.

"I think the owner of Prestige has a lot of questions to answer", Cuomo said.

Robert Sumwalt, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told CNN on Monday that the accident should be "a wake-up call" for limousine safety.

Hussain was charged in 2002 with helping people illegally obtain driver's licences and eventually became an informant against his co-conspirators in the licence scheme. In a Facebook post, the store said it would remain open through the weekend despite the "horrific accident in front of our business". The company did certify outside companies to modify them to Ford specifications for up to 14 seats during the 2001 model year, but it wasn't clear who modified the SUV that crashed Saturday. Investigators also plan to look into whether the design of the roadway was a factor in the crash.

Days before the crash, Steenburg shared a Facebook post thanking her husband for being so "kind and loving".

Before the limousine crashed, one of the victims, Erin McGowan, texted a friend that the limousine appeared to have engine trouble, the New York Times reported: "The motor is making everyone deaf", she said. Rich was the father to a 10-year-old daughter, and the stepfather to a 14-year-old stepson, according to The New York Times.

"They were handsome girls, full of life".

Still, the group continued southwest on State Route 30.

Schoharie Town Supervisor Alan Tavenner described how two state highways meet at the bottom of a steep hill at a T-shaped intersection, with a three-way stop. State Police First Deputy Superintendent Christopher Fiore said the limo ran a stop sign and slammed into a parked SUV and the two pedestrians before crashing to a halt in a ditch. But luxury cars converted to limos, like the one in Saturday's crash, often lack such safety components as side-impact air bags, reinforced rollover protection bars and accessible emergency exits.

Two additional pedestrians and the limo driver were killed during the crash. "It just hurts", Karina Halse told CNN on Monday while visiting the scene of the accident in Schoharie where her older sister, Amanda Halse, was killed. The graphic shows the site where it happened.

"You have 20 fatalities".

The limo blew a stop sign at the end of a highway and smashed into a parked SUV, in what has been the deadliest United States transportation accident in nearly a decade.

Investigators were determining whether the regulations for limousines, whose passengers are not required to wear seat belts, are adequate.

Numerous victims were from that area.

Four sisters on their way to a birthday party have been identified as among the 20 fatalities from a vehicle crash in upstate NY that happened on October 6. "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.

Like the Steenburgs, the McGowans were married in June.

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