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

20 Killed In Car Crash In Upstate New York Involving A Limo Say Police

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"We have limo buses that seat anywhere from 16 to 20 passengers".

He added that the limousine accident is the most deadly transportation accident to occur in the United States since a 2009 plane crash in upstate ny that killed 49 people. "There's just a lot of confusion, so many people died". The victims include four sisters and two newlywed couples, the Times Union of Albany reported.

The limo had been rented by Amy Steenburg and her husband Axel Steenburg, pictured above, for the birthday celebration, according to The New York Times.

Valerie Abeling said her newlywed niece Erin McGowan, who died along with her husband Shane, sent a text about the state of the stretch limousine.

"One of them had two children".

The fundraiser, set up by a friend of the girls' grandparents, Sarah Maltzman, is not just to help them with the expenses of raising two children, but also to start a college fund for them.

"These were friends just starting their lives, getting married and this is how it ended", she said.

An Army veteran, Mary Dyson worked for Upstate Construction Services and was vice president of Theta Phi Alpha sorority when she was a student at Clarkson University, according to WWNY-TV. Erin McGowan's cousin, Patrick Cushing, was also among the dead.

Officials say the crash is the worst USA road tragedy in almost a decade.

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After a crash in 2015 in Long Island's wineries region - which killed four bridesmaids - investigators in NY launched an investigation into the issue of unregulated modified limousines.

Days before the crash, Steenburg shared a Facebook post thanking her husband for being so "kind and loving".

"My heart has stopped", he wrote.

Erin and Shane McGowan on their wedding day in June. "They had everything going for them".

Abby Jackson was a teacher and mother of two, married to Adam. "Adam and Abby were unbelievable parents to these girls and taken much too soon", Sarah Maltzman, a family friend, wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to pay for college and expenses for the daughters. It has so far raised almost $US7000 ($A9900) in eight hours.

"I know that he always kept his license up".

"In a short time, Brian became a major part of our campus family", said SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley in a statement.

Mr Cuomo said the limousine had been rebuilt in a way which violated federal law, adding that the vehicle hire firm, Prestige Limousine, "has a lot to answer for".

What is already emerging is that the authorities failed to enforce the law and one can not help but ask how many other risky stretch limos are out there.

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People place flowers at the scene.

"I heard some screaming".

'Then I saw this large van, a very unusual looking vehicle out here in Schoharie in the bushes and really wrecked, hit a tree'.

At least six ambulances and two helicopters responded to the crash, CBS affiliate WRGB-TV reported.

While Cuomo revealed some new details about the accident, he said it's unclear if the vehicle suffered a malfunction or the driver was as fault.

Police have not revealed the names of victims, pending confirmation of identifications and notification of family members. Schoharie Town Supervisor Alan Tavenner said Sunday the New York Department of Transportation had in recent years outlawed heavy trucks on the hill because of instances where runaway trucks lost their ability to apply the brakes down the steep grade.

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.

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

Sumwalt at news conference on Sunday said investigators would determine the cause of the crash at a later time.

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

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