Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Limousine crash: Vehicle 'failed inspection' and driver 'did not have proper licence'

Limousine crash: Vehicle 'failed inspection' and driver 'did not have proper licence' Limousine crash: Vehicle 'failed inspection' and driver 'did not have proper licence'
Melinda Barton | 09 October, 2018, 08:12

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, so for now it's unclear exactly how the deaths occurred.

"We'll determine if there is any criminal culpability on the part of anyone", New York State Police Major Robert Patnaude said at a news conference Monday.

Cuomo's office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. Federal records show the company has undergone five inspections and had four vehicles pulled from service in the last two years.

One of the victims of the upstate NY limousine crash that killed all 18 aboard and two pedestrians had texted concerns about the "terrible condition" of the limo less than 20 minutes before tragedy struck, her aunt says.

The company operating the limo, Prestige Limousine, is under a cease-and-desist order and can not operate as the investigation is underway.

Police say Prestige Limousine has been "under scrutiny" by the state Department of Transportation in the past, and that they are still analyzing the air bag system and whether the limo, a 2001 Ford Excursion, was mechanically sound.

Hussain, an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant who worked with the agency on terrorism cases, could not be reached Monday at numbers listed for the company.

Jessica Kirby, the managing director of the Apple Barrel Country Store and Café, said there have been "more accidents that I can count" at the T-junction of Route 30 and state Route 30A.

Stretch limousines are often converted cars or SUVs.

He also said the limo - built by cutting apart a heavy-duty SUV and lengthening it - had been created without federal certification, though NTSB officials said they hadn't yet determined whether the vehicle met federal standards.

Officials urged anyone with information on the lead-up to the crash to come forward, including text messages or social media posts that could she further light on the tragedy.

Excited about a birthday celebration and wanting to do the right thing by not driving, 17 friends piled into a white stretch limousine for what was supposed to have been a fun party at a brewery in upstate NY. He is survived by his daughter, 10, stepson, 14, and wife, who were not in the auto.

"They had everything going for them", Abeling said.

Valerie Abeling told CNN that her niece, Erin McGowan was close friends with the Steenburgs.

Still, the group continued southwest on State Route 30. We do know that there have been other crashes at this intersection, so we want to see: "Were there factors in the roadway itself that could have led to the conditions of this crash?"

At least three tractor-trailers have run through the same stop sign and into a field behind the Apple Barrel Country Store in the last decade, according to the store manager. The driver, all 17 passengers and the two pedestrians died. The front end of the limo was crushed, forcing the engine into the driver compartment, NTSB officials said, describing the substantial "force and energy" required to create such extensive damage.

Saturday's crash killed 18 people inside the limousine and two bystanders.

"You have 20 fatalities". The crash left no visible skid marks, but that might be due to misty weather or anti-lock brakes, Sumwalt said.

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

"At this time the identities of the victims are not being released pending the autopsy results and notification of the family members", said Fiore.

The store manager, Jessica Kirby, told The New York Times the limousine was coming down a hill at "probably over 60 miles per hour". "Our lives have been changed forever".

"One just got married and that's what this was: her new husband was giving her a surprise birthday party", she told the New York Post. 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. "It's a tragic loss of handsome souls".

The New York grand jury report recommended state lawmakers require stretch limousines that seat nine or more passengers to meet the stricter inspection regulations that apply to buses. But 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.

"I had four nieces", Douglas told the news station.