WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR…
– THE CRASH: Family Gathering For Birthday Ends In Distaster
– THE VICTIMS: N.Y. Town Overcome By Grief Holds Vigil
– THE DANGER: How To Stay Safe When Booking A Limousine Ride
– THE INVESTIGATION: Report: Limo Company Owner Was FBI Informant
AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — An upstate New York church on Friday was filled with mourners paying respects to eight of the victims in last week’s deadly limo crash at an intersection about 25 miles west of Albany.
The eight were related by either blood or marriage, and included four sisters.
The line to enter St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church in Amsterdam stretched more than two blocks. The slow shuffle of mourners, replete with somber faces and heavy hearts, were united in their grief and loss.
“I think if you’re a mother, if you have children, you’re united,” said mourner Karen Graziano. “How can you not be united?”
Inside the church lay the remains of Axel and Amy Steenburg, her sisters Abby and Mary, their husbands Adam and Robert, and Axel’s brother Rich.
The sisters’ parents are Tom and Linda King. Phil and Ann Wickham spoke with Tom earlier this week, and said he was numb following the tragic accident.
“I lost one son 22 years ago, I can’t imagine losing four,” said Ann.
“My heart just fell when I heard that,” said Phil. “I mean, going to have a good time, do the right thing, and boom. And the loss of all the girls and their husbands…”
The sisters were at the core of a group of 17 out celebrating Amy Steenburg’s 30th birthday. They all died in a modified SUV limousine, hired for a trip to a local brewery, that State Police say was not roadworthy.
Nauman Hussain, operator of Prestige Limousine, is charged with criminally negligent homicide as State Police continue to probe the tragedy.
Many at the church tell CBS2 they’re anxious for answers and justice, and heartbroken for everyone involved. One mourner is friends with Adam Jackson’s mother, Beth, who lost her son and daughter-in-law, Abby.
“I saw her at the house a couple days ago,” said Patti Drygula. “She was pretty good. She was focused on the grandchildren. You know, she was just going through the motions.”
Adam and Abby leave behind two toddlers, Archer and Elle. Like so many in attendance on Friday, their family remains overwhelmed by the enormity of their loss.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Stanislaus at 1 p.m. on Saturday.