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Limo That Crashed, Killing 20, Failed Inspection, Driver Did Not Have Proper License

A look at the intersection where the limousine ran through a stop sign and went through the parking lot of the country store (at left).
A look at the intersection where the limousine ran through a stop sign and went through the parking lot of the country store (at left). Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

The stretch limousine involved in the horrific crash that killed 20 adults over the weekend near Albany failed an inspection in September and was not supposed to be on the road, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday afternoon.

The limo driver, identified as 53-year-old Scott Lisinicchia, also did not have the proper license to operate the vehicle, Cuomo told reporters at the Columbus Day Parade in New York City.

Cuomo said the state is working on getting a cease-and-desist order to prevent the limousine company, Prestige Limousine, from operating until the National Transportation Safety Board finishes its investigation.

It was the deadliest crash in the U.S. in nearly a decade -- on land or in the air -- since the Feb. 12, 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in Buffalo, which took the lives of 49 people.

The mass casualty crash happened just before 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6 at the intersection of State Route 30 and Route 30A in the Town of Schoharie in Schoharie County, located about 25 miles west of Albany, state police said.

A 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was traveling in a southwestern direction on State Route 30 and failed to stop at the intersection with Route 30A, police said.

The limo then traveled across the intersection into the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Stroke and struck a 2015 Toyota Highlander which was unoccupied and parked. The Highlander then struck and killed two pedestrians standing nearby.

All those killed were adults, with 18 of the victims were in the limousine, including the driver. The passengers in the limo were celebrating a surprise 30th birthday party. Two couples in the limo were newly married. Four sisters were among the fatalities.

"My heart breaks for the 20 people who lost their lives in this horrific accident on Saturday in Schoharie," Cuomo said.

"I commend the first responders who arrived on the scene and worked through the night to help. State police are working with federal and local authorities to investigate the crash, and I have directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy.

"I join all New Yorkers in mourning these deaths and share in the unspeakable sorrow experienced by their families and loved ones during this extremely difficult time."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said “Right now, with more questions than answers, it is critical for the NTSB to get to the bottom of how this happened.

"In 2015, I urged the NTSB to investigate a horrific accident on Long Island involving another stretch limo and urged the agency to continue investigating limo accidents nationwide, because we desperately need more data to prevent them and minimize their toll.

"I commend the NTSB’s immediate aid on scene and am very confident that we will have concrete answers soon."

This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.

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