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Cuomo: Limo that crashed wasn’t roadworthy

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich & Lynde Langdon
Posted 10/08/18, 05:02 pm

UPDATE: The limousine that crashed in Schoharie, N.Y., Saturday, killing all 18 people on board and two pedestrians, had failed a recent inspection and should not have been on the road, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. The driver also lacked the proper license to operate the vehicle, Cuomo said. The state ordered the owner, Prestige Limousine, to shut down while an investigation into the crash continues.

Valerie Abeling, the aunt of one of the crash victims, told The Washington Post that the passengers had rented “some kind of bus” to go to a brewery in Cooperstown, N.Y., from their hometown of Amsterdam. That vehicle broke down along the way, and Prestige sent the limo to pick up the group. Abeling’s daughter received a text from someone on board complaining about the condition of the limo. Cuomo said Prestige Limousine “has a lot to answer for.” The state and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating and have not released information about the cause of the crash.

OUR EARLIER REPORT (11:55 a.m.): A limousine crash that took the lives of 20 people Saturday in upstate New York occurred at an intersection that has concerned locals for years. The Ford Excursion limo was full of adult siblings, friends, and relatives on their way to a birthday party when it came over a hill and went through a stop sign, hitting an unoccupied SUV parked at the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe in Schoharie, N.Y. The crash killed all 18 people in the limo and two pedestrians. Jessica Kirby, a manager at the store, said the intersection, which was reconstructed in 2008 after a fatal accident, remained a trouble spot. “More accidents than I can count,” she said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Sunday that he had “directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy.”

The crash, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, was the deadliest U.S. transportation accident since a 2009 plane crash in Buffalo, N.Y., that killed 50 people. A vigil will be held Monday in the victims’ hometown of Amsterdam, N.Y.


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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is a World Journalism Institute graduate. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Rachel_Lynn_A.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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