Wedding limousine crash leaves 20 dead in New York State

Wedding limousine crash leaves 20 dead in New York State

Wedding limousine crash leaves 20 dead in New York State

Mr Cuomo also told a news conference that the driver did not have the appropriate licence for it.

A ceremony for the victims of the limousine crash that killed 20 people ended with participants lifting candles above their heads to signal unity and perseverance.

Cuomo said the limousine was owned by Prestige Limousine in the Albany area, but didn't have the necessary federal certification to operate and failed a state inspection just last month. The board is now examining when and how the vehicle was converted and what caused this tragedy.

Cuomo told reporters a cease-and-desist order was being issued to prevent the limousine company from operating until the investigation is concluded.

State police are probing the cause of the crash.

According to witnesses, the white SUV-style limo failed to halt at a stop sign, and was travelling at around 60mph (95km/h) when it flew through an intersection, hit an empty vehicle outside the Apple Barrel Country Store & Cafe, and then hurtled across a drainage ditch.

The driver was also killed in the crash, they said, adding that the victims would not be officially named until families had been informed.

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The 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was traveling southwest on Route 30 in Schoharie, about 170 miles (270 km) north of New York City when it failed to stop at a T-junction with state Route 30A, state police said.

Valerie Abeling, the aunt of victim Erin McGowan, who died along with her new husband, Shane McGowan, said Erin sent her daughter a message complaining about the state of the auto just 20 minutes before the crash.

"They did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn't have to drive anywhere", she said, telling the paper that several of the couples had young children.

Four sisters - Mary Dyson, Abby Jackson, Allison King and Amy Steenburg - all perished in the crash, state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said.

Vertucci, who grew up in Amsterdam, New York, was an administrative assistant at St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam, Abeling said.

"They were wonderful girls", said their aunt, Barbara Douglas. Some of the seats had lap shoulder belts, but it was unclear if all did or if passengers were wearing them. "Thank you for being so kind and loving xo #justbecause #husband".

"We want that to be something that comes out of this crash and the discussion that we're having at a national level, is that you've got to buckle up in the back", Hersman says.

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In the 2014 limo crash in Cranbury, N.J., that almost killed comedian Tracy Morgan and left another man dead, the NTSB found none of the passengers were wearing seat belts, which contributed to the severity of the injured.

Patrick Cushing, and his girlfriend of two years, Amanda Halse, have also been confirmed as among the dead.

"We take it for granted", Cuomo said.

"My family is just going through a lot", Mrs Abeling said.

The accident was the worst transportation accident in the United States since 2009, when a commuter flight crashed near Buffalo.

State police officials seized three of the company's vehicles, in addition to the modified limo involved in the crash, Patnaude said. A longtime resident of the inn said that for at least two years Hussain kept limos on the property and seemed to care little about safety.

A grand jury - a panel formed to determine if charges were warranted - found that vehicles converted into stretch limousines often don't have safety measures including side-impact air bags, reinforced rollover protection bars and accessible emergency exits.

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In inspections September 4, the company's limos were cited for defective brakes, lack of proper emergency exits, flat or balding tires, defective windshield wipers, and other maintenance problems.

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