Limo in New York Crash That Killed 20 Failed Inspection Last Month

Elias Hubbard
October 9, 2018

The massive vehicle, speeding downhill, approached the intersection of two highways that residents had long warned was risky.

"There was seven of us - five sisters and two brothers", King told The Post.

All 18 people on board, as well as two pedestrians, were killed outside the restaurant, which is popular among tourists who come to see the trees change colour in the autumn.

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. Valerie Abeling, the aunt of 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.

Recalling a text message Ms McGowan sent to her daughter, who was invited but did not go, Ms Abeling said: "The vehicle appeared in awful condition".

"It's tragic. terrible. I can't even begin to even explain".

The limo failed an inspection in September and wasn't supposed to be on the road, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

"In my opinion, the owner of this company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road", the governor said while attending a Columbus Day Parade in New York City.

He said the company, Prestige Limousine, "has a lot to answer for". "We have been asking for something to be done for years".

Newlyweds Amy and Axel Steenburg also married in June.

The limo had been rented by Amy Steenburg and her husband Axel Steenburg, pictured above, for the birthday celebration, according to The New York Times. Their husbands also all died in the crash.

Customers in the parking lot were killed when they were hit by the limo coming down a hill on state Route 30 at "probably over 60 miles per hour", the store manager, Jessica Kirby, told The New York Times.

Police said they would reconstruct the accident scene and conduct autopsies to help their investigation.

Numerous victims were parents of young children. They accounted for only one death crash out of 34,439 fatal accidents in 2016, the past year for which data is available.

"They did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn't have to drive anywhere", Mrs Douglas added.

The priest who married them says they were well loved by their family and the entire community.

Valerie Abeling, the aunt of victim Erin Vertucci, said her 34-year-old niece and her niece's new husband, were victims.

"She was a lovely, sweet soul; he was too", Abeling said. "They were two very young, lovely people" who "had everything going for them".

On Sunday, Mr Cuomo said he had "directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy". "I believe the jaws of life were here on the side of one of the fire trucks", local Bridey Finnagen said.

Officials are investigating the crash, which occurred near the town of Schoharie in NY state on Saturday afternoon.

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 auto outside the Apple Barrel Country Store & Cafe, and then hurtled across a drainage ditch.

The intersection had been redone in 2008 because of a fatal accident there, said Jessica Kirby, who is managing director of the Apple Barrel Country Store.

Officials said the limo was descending a hill on Route 30 in Schoharie and failed to stop at an intersection, a T-junction, where there's a stop sign.

The crash appeared to be the deadliest land-vehicle accident in the United States since a bus ferrying nursing home patients away from Hurricane Rita caught fire in Texas 2005, killing 23.

He added that the limousine accident is the most deadly transportation accident to occur in the United States since a 2009 plane crash in upstate NY that killed 49 people.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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