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/AP) — Urns with the remains of four sisters and four other family members rested at the altar of an upstate New York church for their funeral after last weekend’s limousine crash that killed a total of 20 people.
Mourners lined up for hours on a chilly, cloudy Saturday outside St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church in Amsterdam, New York, to get into the 1 p.m. service for Axel and Amy Steenburg, her sisters Abby and Mary, their husbands Adam and Robert, and Axel’s brother Rich.
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.
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 said at Friday services.
On Saturday, the Rev. O. Robert DeMartinis assured mourners that their loved ones can still see their tears, feel their heartache and want them to live in the moment.
Referring to the catastrophic accident last Saturday that turned a birthday celebration into tragedy, “the question that is in the hearts of so many is why,” the priest said. “Why did these 20 individuals have to be taken from us so quickly and so unexpectedly?”
Each of the three married couples shared an urn, placed near photographs of the eight crash victims. Surrounding the urns were five teddy bears — one for each young child who lost a parent.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)