Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Limousine crash at popular tourist spot kills 20 in NY

20 dead after wedding limo crashes in New York 20 killed after limousine crashes in upstate New York, authorities...
Kenny Thornton | 09 October, 2018, 10:44

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a limousine involved in a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York had failed a state inspection and should not have been on the road.

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".

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

"Prestige has a lot of questions to answer".

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) tweeted that it was also sending a team of investigators to the site of the "limo crash".

A call to Prestige Limousine's office in Gansevoort rang unanswered Monday.

The owner of Prestige Limousine, Shahed Hussain, shares the same name and address as that of a former FBI informant who appeared as a witness in two United States cases in which prosecutors brought terrorism charges against defendants, transportation and federal court records showed.

Douglas said three of the sisters were with their husbands, and she identified them as Amy and Axel Steenburg, Abigail and Adam Jackson, Mary and Rob Dyson and Allison King.

In this undated photo provided by Karina Halse, her sister Amanda Halse and boyfriend Patrick Cushing pose for a photo.

Halse's sister, Karina Halse, told ABC News she had been texting with her sister as she got into the limo on Saturday.

"My heart is sunken". That friend and her three sisters and their spouses were all killed, Abeling said.

Court records show that the Shahed Hussain who owns that motel gained fame in the years after the 11 September 2001, terrorist attacks for infiltrating certain Muslim fundamentalist groups on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"There's a bit of a Frankenstein approach, where a vehicle is chopped up and put back together with parts that were not originally designed for that vehicle", said Deborah Hersman, president of the National Safety Council advocacy group and a former NTSB chair.

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Police said the speed limit was 50 miles per hour. Autopsies were being performed, including on the driver, to see if drugs or alcohol were a factor.

The Apple Barrel's Facebook page on Sunday reflected the concern around the accident in the tight-knit community.

Since the reconstruction, three semi-trailers had reportedly run through the same stop sign that the limo went through, she said. Officials worked with the state to outlaw heavy trucks, Kirby said, but accidents there continue.

"It's a disgusting tragedy, and there's no words to describe how we feel", Abeling said.

The aunt of one of the victims in a limousine crash that killed 20 people in upstate NY says the vehicle was on its way to a birthday celebration.

But for reasons still unknown, the limo plowed through a stop sign, crashed into a parked SUV and caused the deadliest U.S. transportation accident in nearly a decade. Two pedestrians were also killed. The group were all travelling to a birthday party.

"They were wonderful girls", said their aunt, Barbara Douglas, speaking with reporters Sunday. "They'd do anything for you and they were very close to each other and they loved their family". The couple married in June and were among a tight circle made up mostly of old high school and neighborhood friends from Amsterdam, New York.

But she says smaller vehicles still have routinely crashed at that spot.

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.

Twelve people were killed in limo crashes in that span, 2012 through 2016. That compares with over 157,000 crashes and over 171,000 deaths involving all types of vehicles during that period.

There was no information Sunday on the limousine or its integrity.

Safety issues on such vehicles have arisen before, most notably after a wreck on Long Island in July 2015 in which four women on a winery tour were killed.

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