A limousine crashed in Upstate New York on October 6, killing 20 people. The crash occurred approximately 40 miles west of Albany, after the limo failed to stop at an intersection. First Deputy Superintendent of the NY police said in a press release that the limo, “struck a 2015 Toyota Highlander that was unoccupied and parked. Two pedestrians standing nearby were also struck and killed.”
According to findings over the next few days, however, this limo should never have even been on the road. The limo, a repurposed 2001 Ford Expedition, had been inspected in the past for safety and failed. Not only that, the driver of the limo didn’t even have the proper experience to be driving it. New York Police found that he did not have the required license to be behind the wheel of the limo.
After further investigation from police, the company that owns the vehicle has had all their vehicles seized. According to authorities, the company has had issues with compliance of state and federal requirements in the past. Depending on what police find, the company in question, Prestige Limousine, has the potential to face criminal charges. New York State Police Major Robert Patnaude said at the press release, “We’ll determine if there is any criminal culpability on the part of anyone.”
The Governor’s tone was much more direct. On the 8th, he questioned the practices of Prestige Limousine. “In my opinion, the owner of this company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road. Prestige has a lot of questions to answer,” he said at a parade for Columbus Day.
The crash was the deadliest transportation accident in almost a decade. According to reports, 4 sisters were in the limo with their friends, traveling to a birthday party. They were celebrating the 30th birthday of the youngest sister. Robert Sumwalt, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman, called it “horrific.” He added, “I’ve been on the board for 12 years, and this is one of the biggest losses of life we’ve seen in a long, long time.”
Over 1,000 people attended a vigil in Amsterdam, New York, in solidarity with the victims. Some of the victims lived in this small city. Local officials, such as Rep. Paul Tonko, attended as well. Tonko, from Amsterdam as well, said, “We are crushed with you, we are crushed for you.”