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Schoharie Limousine Crash Victims Include 18 Birthday Party Attendees

09 October 2018

They have been described by their family as the "Four Musketeers". He's a Democrat from Amsterdam.

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. The impact killed two pedestrians standing nearby. The group had gathered for a surprise party to celebrate Amy Steenburg's 30th birthday.

But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Monday that the limousine involved did not pass a DMV inspection last month.

Sumwalt said NTSB investigators will look at the company's compliance with state and federal regulations, it's safety culture, records of previous crashes and management of its drivers, among other factors.

A NY state trooper and members of the National Transportation Safety Board view the scene of Saturday's fatal crash in Schoharie, N.Y. Some 20 minutes later, the limousine came over a steep hill and headed down toward a T-shaped intersection in Schoharie.

The firm says it pulled its cars from the road voluntarily. Douglas said they had several children between them. "We know that the vehicle ran a stop sign and had a tragic result".

He said it's the deadliest transportation incident since a 2009 airplane crash near Buffalo, New York, that killed 50 people.

But Chairman Robert Sumwalt cautioned during a news conference Monday that the lack of skid marks could be due to misty weather or anti-lock brakes.

"Sometimes, people just don't follow the law" that already exists, he said.

Investigators plan to examine everything from the mangled limo's data recorders and mechanical systems to the road, which has a history as a danger spot.

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. In one case, he helped convict men accused of plotting to bomb NY synagogues.

"I don't know if there was a task force set up", the governor said Monday, while suggesting that Saturday's crash didn't necessarily point to a need for more regulation.

He said authorities were able to figure out the limo's direction of travel and what occurred based on evidence found at the crash scene.

"The sisters were texting Saturday as Amanda Halse got into the limo, bound for a birthday party". Before Amanda Halse received her sister's reply, she died in the crash. Two bystanders also were killed. Vehicles that cross state or country lines are required to be inspected every six months by the state Department of Transportation.

The limo charged through a highway intersection without stopping last Saturday afternoon, in Schoharie, New York, the police and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said.

"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.

The intersection has always been a concern for locals, reported The Associated Press.

The parked auto was unoccupied, however two pedestrians were struck and killed. Over the same period, 171,508 people were killed in 157,451 crashes involving all types of vehicles.

Senate Leader John Flanagan on Monday called Patrick Cushing an "extraordinary" employee and "wonderful young man".

The Ford Excursion struck an unoccupied sport-utility vehicle after it went past a stop sign at an intersection in Schoharie on Saturday.

She and her husband Rob lived in Watertown, New York, according to her Facebook page.

Suzanne Douglass told The Associated Press that her nephew, Matthew Coons, of Johnstown, N.Y., had a "golden heart".

"They were the Four Musketeers", the sisters' brother Tom King, 35, told the New York Post. But safety issues on such vehicles have arisen before, notably after a wreck on Long Island in July 2015 in which four women were killed.

Police said that, of the 20 victims, 18 had been inside the limousine. Two of the couples were newlyweds.

Schoharie Limousine Crash Victims Include 18 Birthday Party Attendees