WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR…
- THE CRASH: Family Gathering For Birthday Ends In Distaster
- THE VICTIMS: Remembering Those Lost: ‘They Would Do Anything For You’
- THE DANGER: How To Stay Safe When Booking A Limousine Ride
SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Authorities are looking for answers in the deadly limousine crash that left 20 people dead in Schoharie Saturday.
The New York State Police held a news conference Monday afternoon. They’re investigating the crash, as is the National Transportation Safety Board.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo shed some light on the investigation while speaking to reporters at the Columbus Day Parade in Manhattan. He said that the limo involved in the crash failed an inspection just last month, and that the driver wasn’t properly licensed for that vehicle.
“The driver of the vehicle, the quote-unquote limousine, did not have the appropriate driver’s license to be operating that vehicle,” Cuomo said. “Second, that vehicle was inspected by the New York State Department of Transportation last month and failed inspection and was not supposed to be on the road. We don’t yet know the cause of the accident—if it was a vehicle malfunction, if it was a driver malfunction, a driver error.”
Cuomo said the state was issuing a cease and desist order to keep Prestige Limousine – the company involved – from operating until the investigation is complete.
“The owner of the company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road,” Cuomo said. “I think the owner of this company, the owner of Prestige has a lot of questions to answer. There’s an ongoing investigation, but is there a possibility of liability, certainly.”
According to New York State Police, a 2011 Ford Excursion limousine was traveling on State Route 30 in Schoharie on Saturday afternoon when it failed to stop at an intersection with State Route 30-A,
The limo, on its way to a brewery, drove into a parking lot and struck an empty SUV. The struck vehicle was hit with such force that it was thrown into the two nearby pedestrians who were killed, state police officials said.
“It’s one of the worst traffic accidents in the history of the state of New York,” Cuomo said. “It is really tragic.”
Authorities haven’t said if anyone in the limo was wearing seat belts.
WATCH: Assemblyman On Limo Crash, ‘Everyone In State Of Shock Right Now’
Local residents says the site of the crash was dangerous, even after having been redone in 2008 because of a previous fatal accident.
Since the changes, three tractor-trailers have run through the same stop sign authorities said the limo passed and into a field, according to Jessica Kirby, managing director of the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe.