Limo in deadly NY crash recently failed inspection, governor says

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The victims were killed when a stretch limousine hit a parked SUV Saturday in Schoharie (skoh-HAY'-ree).

"Not really... he trusted in what the limo company said, that the cars were alright", Kim said.

A vigil was planned Monday night in Amsterdam, where some victims lived. The memorial honored 20 people who died in Saturday's fatal limousine crash in Schoharie, N.Y. "We are performing a detailed internal investigation to determine the cause of the accident and the steps we can take in order to prevent future accidents".

Some relatives of the dead shed tears as local officials expressed solidarity with them. We also ask that you respect the family's privacy at this most hard time. The ceremony ended with everyone lifting their candles above their heads in unity.

Two pedestrians were also killed when they were hit by a parked vehicle that the limo struck while careening through the Apple Barrel's auto park.

"They did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn't have to drive anywhere", their aunt, Barbara Douglas, said Sunday.

"My heart is sunken". "For over 20-plus years, he drove a tractor-trailer, that's why I know something was wrong", Kim said.

"Records of prior crashes, their management of drivers, their fatigue management program, vehicle maintenance, driver fitness for duty".

Federal transportation records show Prestige is owned by Shahed Hussain, who worked as an informant for the FBI after the September 11 attacks.

A lawyer for the limo company suggested the driver was unfamiliar with the roads.

NY officials say Lisinicchia did not have a proper license to operate the vehicle and federal documents show the limo he was driving also failed an inspection in September.

Lawmakers at the vigil promised to help find answers to the questions surrounding Saturday's crash.

Governor Cuomo has also warned of potential "legal consequences" for Prestige owner Shahed Hussain because he "had no business putting [a] failed vehicle on the road".

Reuters was not able to reach Prestige Limousine for comment and the company's listed phone number was disconnected.

Authorities seized the company's vehicles Monday, as police investigated whether anyone was criminally liable.

Federal records show Prestige Limousines has been cited for 22 violations in the last 24 months.

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An attorney for Prestige said Tuesday the safety violations were fixed before Saturday's wreck.

"I don't think that these infractions were what led to the tragedy", attorney Lee Kindlon told CBS News in an interview.

He told the Times Union of Albany that the driver might have misjudged his ability to stop at the bottom of the long winding hill.

Before he owned the company, the Pakistani national was an informant for the FBI, where he conducted an undercover investigation for several months in 2008 and 2009, court records show. In one case, he helped convict men accused of plotting to bomb NY synagogues.

His role at the Federal Bureau of Investigation was assailed by civil liberties groups, who accused him of helping the Federal Bureau of Investigation entrap people.

Family members and friends gather for a candlelight vigil memorial at Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam, N.Y., on October 8, 2018.

The Ford Excursion limo was a "chopped vehicle", Cuomo said, meaning it had been cut and elongated into a stretch limo.

Investigators have yet to determine whether the driver tried to brake. The wreck left no skid marks investigators could see, but that might be due to misty weather or anti-lock brakes, Sumwalt said. "This is the most deadly transportation accident or crash that we've seen on USA soil since February of 2009".

Two newlywed couples were among those killed in the NY limousine crash. "All too often, stretched limousines lack basic safety protections, including not enough side impact air bags, rollover bars, appropriate exits and more".

Few federal regulations govern limos modified after leaving the factory. Regulations often vary by state and even local governments.

"It certainly is the Wild West out there when it comes to limousines and stretch vehicles", said National Safety Council CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman.

Ford said it has never made its own stretch version of the Excursion SUV. That grand jury called on Cuomo to assemble a task force on limousine safety. It's not known if the victims of Saturday's crash were wearing seat belts at the time.

"Sometimes, people just don't follow the law" that already exists, he said. "And he's so very sorry for everything that's happened".

Major Patnaude said the SUV-style limousine being examined has enough seats to be classified as a bus, requiring a special driver's license endorsement for carrying passengers.

Cuomo said some of those who died were state employees, including Justice Center employee Amy King Steenburg, SUNY-Oswego professor Brian Hough, and Patrick Cushing, a New York State Senate employee.

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