Newlyweds, sisters and close friends were killed in New York limo crash

Marsha Scott
October 10, 2018

Two pairs of newly-weds, sisters from one family and brothers from another were among the 20 victims when a stretch limousine taking passengers to a surprise birthday party crashed in upstate NY, according to United States media reports yesterday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D, said state agencies should "provide every resource necessary" to investigate the crash. The out-of-control limousine was carrying 18 people when it crashed into a cafe parking lot, hitting another vehicle and killing two bystanders.

The National Transportation Safety Board said members of its "go team" were at the crash site to investigate what happened and possible factors, including road and vehicle conditions. Everyone inside the limousine, including the driver, died in the crash, and all those killed Saturday were adults, police added.

CBS2 has learned the company pulled four vehicles out of service after failing inspections over the past two years.

The New York intersection where a limousine crashed, killing 18 people headed to a birthday party, is notoriously known as a risky intersection that officials have attempted to fix without success, a nearby store owner and officials said.

The limo company has been identified as Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service in Gansevoort, New York, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation. Shane and Erin McGowan were newlyweds, married this summer, like Axel and Amy. Sumwalt said there was extensive damage to the front of the limo, mostly on the driver's side.

Like the McGowans, Steenberg and her husband, Axel Steenberg, had just gotten married in June; Axel's brother, Rich Steenberg, was also killed in the limousine crash, she said.

In her final Facebook post, Ms Steenburg shared a photo of herself and her husband and wrote: "I just wanted to say Axel Steenburg I love you more than words can say!"

Their aunt, Barbara Douglas, told the New York Postthey were "beautiful girls".

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∫ Media reports from central NY have also identified another one of the victims of the crash - one of the two pedestrians standing outside the Apple Barrel.

The issues don't stop there as Arbelaez said safety requirements aren't as strict on limos as they are with traditional cars.

Rob, who was Mary Dyson's husband, was one of the victims as well, according to NBC News. Police said Sunday they were not releasing any of the victims' names, pending autopsies and notification of next of kin.

The sister of one of the women killed on Saturday said her heart is "sunken" and she's in a "place where I've never felt this type of pain before".

Officials say it is the deadliest crash since the 2009 when Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed near Buffalo, New York, killing 50 people.

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said among the things investigators will be looking into are the company, the driver, state and federal oversight, and the vehicle and its condition. Schoharie Town Supervisor Alan Tavenner said Sunday the New York Department of Transportation had in recent years outlawed heavy trucks on the hill because of instances where runaway trucks lost their ability to apply the brakes down the steep grade.

A GoFundMe page is raising money for the Dysons' two children, who are said to be four years and 16 months old.

New York State is taking steps to shut down the limousine company involved in a crash that killed 20 people over the weekend in Schoharie. "They were two very young, lovely people" who "had everything going for them". The sisters had been texting on Saturday as Amanda Halse got into the limo to head to the birthday party.

Ford qualified certain limo builders to build a stretch version of Ford Excursion with seating for up to 12-14 people maximum.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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