On Monday afternoon, New York State Police and the National Transportation Safety Board held a news conference to provide more information on the limo crash in Schoharie over the weekend that killed 20 people.
On Saturday afternoon, a limo driver, 17 passengers heading to a birthday party, and two pedestrians died when the 2001 Ford Excursion limo went through a stop sign, drove across a highway and then crashed into a parked car before going into an embankment.
The owner of the limo company, Prestige Limousine, has been identified as Shahed Hussain, who is known to be an FBI informant for terror cases. Police say they have located the owner, who is reported to be out of the country at this time.
Earlier on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the limo had failed inspections in the past and shouldn’t have been on the road, and State Police Troop G Major Roger Patnaude confirmed the vehicle has failed inspections in the past.
Regarding possible criminal charges, Patnaude said, “That will be part of our investigation. We'll determine if there's any criminal culpability on the part of anyone. If there is, we'll hold them accountable for it.”
Officials with NTSB said this is the first full day that they’ve been able to investigate the crash.
A statement released by a law firm on behalf of Prestige Limousine says they’re performing a detailed internal investigation and they’ve voluntarily taken their fleet of vehicles off the road in the meantime. They say they have also met with state and federal investigators.
The limo was reportedly headed to Brewery Ommegang on Saturday to celebrate one of the passenger’s birthdays. On Monday, the brewery released a statement that said, in part:
“We were incredibly saddened to learn of this horrible tragedy. As names of the victims have been released by the media, we learned that a member of the party did have a reservation at the brewery for Saturday at noon. We have shared this information with the New York State Police to assist in their investigation. We wish to express our deepest, heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of the victims.”
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