At a curbside along Route 30, which runs through the “small-knit community” of Schoharie, NY gathered residents, friends, and family members, all paying condolences to the 20 victims who were killed in the limousine accident that occurred this past Saturday. Robert Sumwalt, who is the Board Chairman for the National Transportation Safety Board referred to the accident as “the biggest U.S. Transportation accident since 2009.” Eighteen people hopped into the limousine, including the driver, to celebrate a 30thbirthday, none of which made it out alive.
Here’s what happened and what officials are sharing with the public thus far.
It was Saturday afternoon, October 6th, when four sisters, relatives, and friends climbed into a limousine for a birthday celebration. The 2001 Ford Excursion that was transporting the 17 individuals was “traveling southwest on Route 30 in Schoharie around 2:00 p.m. when it failed to stop at a T-junction with State Route 30A and crashed into an SUV [that was] parked at the Apple Barrel Country Store and Café” [Source: USA Today]. The impact of the crash left all occupants inside of the limousine dead along with two pedestrians.
The source highlighted that a woman who had been out shopping with her sister heard what sounded like an explosion and got out of her vehicle. She said she saw a body on the ground and began to hear screams coming from the others that were around. Officials along with the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the scene where they began to conduct their investigation which will likely take weeks or even months for them to complete.
Only a few details have emerged after the tragic wreck, including the names of some of the victims. The four sisters that were inside the limo have been identified, three of which were also with their husbands. They were Amy and Axel Steenburg, Abigail and Adam Jackson, Mary and Rob Dyson, and Allison King. Sadly, the couples didn’t only leave behind relatives, but also children who had stayed back at home while they went out to celebrate.
Unfortunately, not much is being said about the limo driver and why /she neglected to stop before crashing into the parked SUV. Officials did not yet disclose what speed the driver was traveling at, however, the manager of the store that happened to be located right next to the accident scene said that “the limo was coming down a hill at probably over 60 mph.” Officials have also refrained from announcing whether the occupants inside the limousine were wearing their seatbelts. Although limousines that are “built in factories are required to meet stringent safety regulations” if a car is converted into a limo, “safety features are sometimes removed, leading to gaps in safety protocols.”
What else do we know?
Aside from those details mentioned above, USA Today recently announced that one of the victims being transported in the limo had texted a relative with her concerns about the limo saying that it was in “terrible condition.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday, October 8ththat “the limo failed inspection last month and the driver didn’t have an appropriate license to operate the vehicle.” Some other information that was released was that another text message was sent by the same victim and it stated that the limo was a last-minute replacement as the bus they hired to shuttle the group around broke.
As the days go on and investigators work to piece together the accident, you can expect that more details will be shared with the public.
Although accidents involving limos are rather rare, crashes involving other modes of transportation that transport groups of individuals including taxis, buses, and trains aren’t. And if you have been involved in a wreck recently in upstate New York while riding in one of these modes of transportation or know someone who has, it is essential that you contact USAttorneys.com today. It is likely you are seeking answers to many of the concerns you might have and our NY accident lawyers are the professionals you will want to address them.