Sunday, 21 October, 2018


Governor: Limo that crashed shouldn't have been on the road

Debris scatters an area on Oct. 7 2018 at the site of yesterday’s fatal crash Schoharie N.Y Limo involved in fatal crash never should have been on the road, New York governor says
Bennie Garza | 09 October, 2018, 23:16

Members of the National Transportation Safety Board are on the scene this week investigating.

"This is an area where we clearly have a gap that needs to be addressed and it's incumbent upon state policy makers and the feds to work together and address this", she said.

Cuomo said officials are working on "a cease-and-desist order to stop Prestige Limousine from operating until the investigation is concluded".

Federal transportation records show Prestige is owned by Shahed Hussain, who worked as an informant for the FBI after the September 11 attacks, infiltrating Muslim groups by posing as a terrorist sympathizer in at least three investigations. Federal records show the company has undergone five inspections and had four vehicles pulled from service in the last two years.

Speaking to reporters, Cuomo said it remains unclear whether driver error or vehicle malfunction led to the crash, which is being investigated by New York State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board.

"We've had three tractor-trailer type vehicles - they come down that hill too fast, they go through our parking lot and they end up in a field behind our business", Kirby said.

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

Asked Monday about Hussain, the Federal Bureau of Investigation wouldn't comment.

Stretch limos, which are chopped up by second-stage manufacturers and extended in length, are not subject to any regulatory agency.

Regardless of whether a limo had been modified, there is a prevailing concern among some safety experts: rear passengers in limos are not required to wear seat belts. Investigators also plan to look into whether the design of the roadway was a factor in the crash. Officials worked with the state to outlaw heavy trucks, she said, but there are still accidents.

The group, on their way to a 30th birthday party at a brewery in Cooperstown, New York, was supposed to take a bus to the party, but that vehicle had broken down en route to the event, the Post reported.

The sister of a woman killed in a limousine crash in upstate NY says her heart is "sunken" and she's in a "place where I've never felt this type of pain before.

You just can't the stop something like that", Kindlon said.

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

Prestige Limousine expressed condolences to relatives of Saturday's crash in Schoharie (skoh-HAYR'-ee).

The crash "sounded like an explosion", said Linda Riley, of nearby Schenectady, who was on a shopping trip with her sisters and had been in their parked vehicle at the time at the store. So were two pedestrians. The limo's engine compartment has been pushed back in to the front of the passenger compartment, indicating a "high energy impact", Sumwalt said.

The crash "sounded like an explosion", said Linda Riley, of nearby Schenectady, who was on a shopping trip. The scene rattled even longtime investigators, who converged on the site over the weekend to begin trying to reconstruct what happened. "That's very striking", Sumwalt said.

It was the deadliest transport accident in the United States since a Colgan Air Flight from Newark, New Jersey to Buffalo, New York crashed in February 2009, killing 49.

Cuomo on Sunday released a statement saying, "My heart breaks for the 20 people who lost their lives in this horrific accident on Saturday in Schoharie". "Our lives have been changed forever".

Fulton County residents - including two Gloversville brothers, who sources said were Axel and Richard Steenburg - were among the 20 deaths that occurred in a deadly accident when a limousine careened out of control Saturday afternoon in this small Schoharie County town. That friend and her three sisters and their spouses were all killed, Abeling said.

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