Sisters Who Were Like 'Four Musketeers' Among Those Killed In Limo Crash

10 October, 2018, 00:30 | Author: Kim Reid
  • 20 killed after limousine crashes in upstate New York, authorities...

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.

A NY state trooper and members of the National Transportation Safety Board view the scene of Saturday's fatal crash in Schoharie, N.Y.

He added, "It's not supposed to be on the road".

The limo driver, all 17 passengers and the two pedestrians died, state police and the NTSB said.

"The family believes that unbeknownst to him he was provided with a vehicle that was neither roadworthy nor safe for any of its occupants", the lawyer, George Longworth, said in a statement.

On Monday New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D, criticized Prestige for "putting a failed vehicle on the road".

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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 limousine struck a 2015 Toyota Highlander that was unoccupied in the parking lot, New York State Police first deputy superintendent Christopher Fiore said at a news conference Sunday. "This is the most deadly transportation accident in this country since February of 2009".

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.

Newlyweds Amy and Axel Steenburg got married on June 30. The Times Union, citing local officials, reported that the limo sped down a hill and crashed into bystanders at the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe.

Witnesses said they saw pedestrians who had been hit trying to enter the Apple Barrel during the crash, according to WNYT.

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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.

The 20 people killed on Saturday in a limousine crash near Schoharie, N.Y., included four sisters and three of their husbands, along with at least three other couples.

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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