How to check a limousine company’s safety records

Clay Curtis
October 9, 2018

Meanwhile, state police are conducting a criminal probe of the tragedy.

Robert Sumwalt, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told CNN that the accident should be "a wake-up call" for limousine safety.

Cuomo's office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Since limos are essentially stretched versions of normal passenger vehicles, it means occupants aren't necessarily seated near a pillar which offers increased protection in the event of a crash.

The crash killed everyone in the limousine, including the driver and all 17 passengers, police said.

The state ordered the owner, Prestige Limousine, shut down while an investigation continues into what Saturday's wreck in Schoharie. It also failed an on-site state inspection.

Prestige Limousine, the company responsible for the vehicle, was being sent a cease and desist until the investigation is complete, Cuomo said.

A limousine loaded with people headed to a birthday party blew the stop sign at the end of a highway and slammed into an SUV parked outside a store, killing all people in the limo and a few pedestrians, officials and relatives of the victims said.

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.

"The law here was you need your vehicle to pass inspection".

The vehicle was "not supposed to be on the road", he said.

Cuomo also spoke about the victims.

In Mrs Steenburg's last ever Facebook post, dated on 3 October, she thanked her husband for "being so kind and loving". "So first, our thoughts and prayers are with all those grieving parents, friends, relatives in this horrendous accident".

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The seedy inn also served as the business address for Hussain's limo company. Patenaude said state police have been in touch with him, but he was in Pakistan, his home country, on Monday.

Hussain was charged in 2002 with helping people illegally obtain driver's licences and eventually became an informant against his co-conspirators in the licence scheme.

A stretch SUV limousine like the one involved in the accident is often created by modifying an existing vehicle - essentially sawing it in half, then lengthening the body and refurbishing the interior.

In that case, Hussain posed as a wealthy radicalized Muslim who befriended four men eventually convicted of plotting to shoot down US military planes with a Stinger missile and set off bombs at Jewish targets in Riverdale area of the Bronx. Asked Monday about Hussain, the Federal Bureau of Investigation wouldn't comment.

The crash "sounded like an explosion", witness Linda Riley, who was shopping with her sisters at the time, told The Associated Press.

The National transportation Safety Board has launched a team to investigate the crash.

There was no information Sunday on the limousine or its integrity. Officials say it's the deadliest transportation accident in the USA since 2009.

"The thing that is striking to me and to my team is the unfortunate number of fatalities", said Sumwalt with the NTSB.

All 18 people in the limo were killed, including the driver, Fiore said.

Autopsies were being performed on the dead but authorities didn't say whether the limo occupants were wearing seat belts, nor did they give any indication as to the speed of the vehicle. "They don't follow the rules". Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., asked the NTSB to investigate limo accidents nationwide, but nothing changed beyond deeper investigations.

Two of the couples were newlyweds, the paper said. They declined to provide any details about what might have caused the crash. "We always map all of the accidents".

The 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was travelling south-west on State Route 30.

"More accidents than I can count", Kirby said in an email.

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