Sisters Who Were Like 'Four Musketeers' Among Those Killed In Limo Crash
10 October, 2018, 00:30 | Author: Kim Reid
A crash that killed 20 people in upstate NY is a "wake-up call" for limousine safety, the chief of the federal agency investigating what happened to a stretch limo taking passengers to a surprise birthday party said on Monday.
USA media had earlier reported that the vehicle was on its way to a wedding, but an aunt of one of the victims has said it was in fact heading to a birthday party.
Jessica Kirby, the manager of the Apple Barrel Country Store, told the New York Times that the limousine was probably traveling over 60 miles per hour as it came over the hill, and that the store was crowded with visitors from out of town because of the long holiday weekend.
The passengers of the limo - including four sisters, newlyweds and young couples - were all celebrating a birthday party, according to United States media.
Limousines built in factories are already required to meet stringent safety regulations, but when cars are converted into limos, safety features are sometimes removed, leading to gaps in safety protocols, the grand jury wrote.
"We continue to be stunned by the widespread local impact of Saturday's heartbreaking limo accident.", said Kara Ulasewicz, hospice president and CEO.
Her husband, Rob, also was killed. "She wanted to help them better their lives", he said.
The disaster is one of the most fatal vehicle accidents in recent memory in area and the worst transportation disaster to hit the Capital Region since the 2005 sinking of the Ethan Allen tour boat on Lake George, NY, which also killed 20 people.
Erin and Shane McGowan were just starting a life together after five months of marriage, the Times Union of Rochester, New York reported.
Many have speculated that the limo was modified in way to make it "stretch", which could also have caused it to lose some safety features.
National Transportation Safety Board chairm Robert Sumalt said the limo was configured for 19 seats.
And the lives of those inside- some of whom were newlyweds, some of whom were siblings and others who were parents-would be tragically cut short. Police had reportedly been looking at both the company and the limo in question even before the crash.
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Speaking through tears, Valerie Abeling, said her niece Erin, 34, and her husband Shane, 30, also paid tribute to the couple.
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