NY Gov. Cuomo: Limo Involved in Fatal Crash Failed Inspection

NY Gov. Cuomo: Limo Involved in Fatal Crash Failed Inspection

Under the state's law, the limo's driver would have been required to wear one as a front seat passenger, while the passengers in the back would not.

The startling revelations bring more anguish to those grieving the deaths of 20 people in the quaint town of Schoharie.

They were celebrating Amy Steenburg's 30th birthday, said Anthony Vertucci, the uncle of Erin McGowan, who was killed in the crash along with her new husband Shane McGowan.

Four sisters, two brothers and at least three young couples were among the dead.

The supersized limo ran a stop sign and hit a parked SUV on Saturday in Schoharie.

A similar safety issue arose in the 2014 crash that injured comic Tracy Morgan and killed his friend, comedian James McNair: The luxury limo van had been modified to block exit doors, which made it hard to reach the victims. The limo driver also died along with two pedestrians. "What this crash brings home is that there is a gap in oversight when it comes to limousine operations".

"We want to make sure that the vehicle, when it was converted, that the conversion was conducted in accordance with federal regulations", NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said.

Deborah Hersman, who runs the National Safety Council and is a former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, said, "All of the occupants being belted, means it's safer for everyone".

The limousine which crashed in upstate NY killing 20 people failed an inspection last month and its driver did not have a suitable licence, according to USA media.

"The driver needed what's called a CDL, a commercial driver license with a passenger endorsement".

But Lisinicchia's twin brother Keith said he was an experienced and conscientious driver who was properly licensed.

The owner of the limo company, Prestige Limousine, has been identified as Shahed Hussain, who is known to be an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant for terror cases. CBS2 has learned the company pulled four vehicles out of service after failing inspections over the past two years.

The NTSB is still investigating the cause of the accident. 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.

Authorities said the limousine company, Prestige Limousine, was cooperating in the investigation. Hersman says the federal responsibility for overseeing drivers that may be operating between multiple states is a bit of a hodgepodge. "Whether or not it would have made a difference here. remains to be seen", Sumwalt said.

"I can tell you that wearing seat belts does saves lives". She also says the record-keeping on how common these accidents are needs to get better.

"I'm not surprised because there are so many owners that don't care", said Meyer.

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"Due to the severity of the crash the process is taking some time", Patnaude said.

Friends and family, along with complete strangers, held a vigil for at the pedestrian bridge.

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

Mrs Steenburg was also a newly-wed.

Numerous victims were from the upstate city of Amsterdam, about 20 miles north of the crash site.

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

"Twenty fatalities is just horrific", Sumwalt said on Sunday.

The McGowans were just starting a life together after getting married in June and were saving to buy a house. Her niece, 34-year-old Erin McGowan, was among those on what was supposed to be a fun-filled excursion to a brewery in Cooperstown, New York. Typically when SUVs are converted into limos, they are cut in half, stretched and converted.

"The motor is making everyone deaf", McGowan wrote, according to the Times.

"Adam and Abby were fantastic parents to these girls and taken much too soon", the page says, adding that the children are both under five years old.

Karina Halse said she's struggling with the loss of her sister, Amanda Halse, who was killed along with her boyfriend.

"I can't even imagine how it happened, or why it happened", she said.

She and her husband Adam left behind two daughters: 4-year-old Archer and 16-month-old Elle.

"They were wonderful girls", said their aunt, Barbara Douglas, speaking with reporters Sunday. "They would do anything for you and they were very close to each other and they loved their family".

"They now have no parents", Douglas said. At this time, Ford does not have any information about the vehicle involved in this accident, but we are ready to cooperate with agencies who are investigating.

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