Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Limo in New York Crash That Killed 20 Failed Inspection Last Month

Limo in New York Crash That Killed 20 Failed Inspection Last Month

It went across the road and hit an unoccupied vehicle parked at the Apple Barrel Country Store and two pedestrians. Two pedestrians and all 18 people in the limo died. That's one of the inspections that the limo in the crash had failed because of brake and suspension problems, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"My niece was four years older than him, and she said she found the love of her life", she said. The Associated Press reported that the limousine passengers were on their way to a birthday party.

New York State Police Cpt Richard O'Brien said on Sunday that the investigation was still in its "infancy stages", adding that "several" separate police units were involved, including a "facial identification unit" and a drone team.

Valerie Abeling said her niece, Erin Vertucci McGowan and Erin's husband Shane McGowan, died together.

The sister of a woman killed in a limousine crash in upstate NY says her heart is "sunken" and she's in a "place where I've never felt this type of pain before. Then I heard screaming", said Bridey Finnagen, who lives nearby.

"It's a awful tragedy, and there's no words to describe how we feel", Abeling said. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, so for now it's unclear exactly how the deaths occurred.

"Twenty fatalities is just horrific", NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters Sunday. "They would do anything for you and they were very close to each other and they loved their family", she said. "When a vehicle is stretched, the main thing that's taken into account is to make sure that it is structurally stable and roadworthy in order to carry the occupants and handle the load and be durable, not necessarily to withstand any crash forces".


Before the limousine crashed, one of the victims, Erin McGowan, texted a friend that the limousine appeared to have engine trouble, the New York Times reported: "The motor is making everyone deaf", she said.

"These were young couples, just got married and had their whole lives ahead of them".

Amy Steenburg was so in love with her new husband, Axel, she wanted the world to know.

Somewhere along the way, Abeling said, the bus apparently broke down and the limousine was the replacement, she said.

"Karina Halse visited the crash site Monday in Schoharie (skoh-HAYR'-ee) and talked about her 26-year-old sister, Amanda Halse, who she said was in the limo with her boyfriend, Patrick Cushing". A Facebook fundraiser created for her parents, Tom and Linda King, had raised more than $132,000 as of Monday evening.

Vertucci and McGowan "were very much in love", Abeling said.

It was the deadliest transportation accident in the USA since a 2009 plane crash in Buffalo, New York, that killed 49 people, NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt told a news conference on Sunday.


Many stretch limos "may lack certain basic safety features like the necessary number of side impact airbags, reinforced rollover protection bars, structurally sound frames and accessible emergency exits that can aid passengers and first responders in the event of a crash", Schumer's office said in a news release at the time.

A vigil is set to be held in New Amsterdam on Monday night, where the victims were from.

A similar safety issue arose in the 2014 crash that injured comic Tracy Morgan and killed his friend, comedian James McNair: The luxury limo van had been modified to block exit doors, which made it hard to reach the victims.

Amy Steenburg's three sisters, Abby Jackson, Mary Dyson, and Allison King, were also killed in the crash, said State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.

Witnesses would later recall the limo blowing past a stop sign and plowing into the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe at the bottom of the hill, police said.

"It is with heavy hearts that we are sad to announce the Star Spangled Family has lost one of our beloved coaches, Mary Dyson and her husband, Rob", they wrote. She and Axel Steenburg just married in June. "Did he know the vehicle?" They accounted for only one death crash out of 34,439 fatal accidents in 2016, the past year for which data is available.


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