Schoharie crash driver's family believes limo was not roadworthy

Members of the National Transportation Safety Board work at the scene of the fatal limo crash in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

The family of the limousine driver involved in a deadly crash in upstate New York says they believe he was unwittingly assigned an unsafe vehicle.

Posted: Oct. 9, 2018 3:48 PM
Updated: Oct. 9, 2018 4:30 PM

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (AP) - The Latest on the limousine crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The family of the limousine driver involved in a deadly crash in upstate New York says they believe he was unwittingly assigned an unsafe vehicle.

The family of Scott Lisinicchia released a statement through their lawyer Tuesday asking the public to not jump to conclusions about the cause of the crash that killed 20 people Saturday.

Investigators are trying to find out why the limousine ran through a stop sign at the bottom of a T-intersection on a rural road 25 miles west of Albany.

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

But the statement from the Lisinicchia family says they believe "that unbeknownst to him he was provided with a vehicle that was neither roadworthy nor safe for any of its occupants."

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2:15 p.m.

New York State Police have officially released the identities and hometowns of the 20 people who were killed when a limousine crashed off a rural upstate road last weekend.

Troopers released the information Tuesday afternoon, three days after the limo carrying 18 people crashed at an intersection in Schoharie, 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Albany.

The limo driver, all 17 passengers and two men standing in a store parking lot were killed. The cause of the crash is being investigated by state police and federal transportation officials.

The identities of the victims have been previously reported in news articles. Authorities had said they would release a full list of names once all relatives were notified.

One of the passengers, Amy Steenburg, was an online student at Utica College who was completing her master’s degree in Health Care Administration. Her husband, three sisters, her brother-in-law and several friends were among those who died in the crash.

Another one of the victims in the crash, Savannah Bursese, is a 2015 graduate of Hartwick College. Her boyfriend was killed in the crash as well.

PASSENGERS:
- Axel Steenburg, 29, of Amsterdam
- Richard Steenburg, 34, of Johnstown
- Amy Steenburg, 29, of Amsterdam
- Allison King, 31, of Ballston Spa
- Mary Dyson, 33, of Watertown
- Abigail Jackson, 34, of Amsterdam
- Matthew Coons, 27, of Johnstown
- Savannah Bursese, 24, of Johnstown
- Patrick Cushing, 31, of Halfmoon
- Amanda Halse, 26, of Halfmoon
- Erin McGowan, 34, of Amsterdam
- Shane McGowan, 30, of Amsterdam
- Amanda Rivenburg, 29, of Colonie
- Adam Jackson, 34, of Amsterdam
- Rachael Cavosie, 30, of Waterford
- Michael Ukaj, 33, of Johnstown

DRIVER:
- Scott Lisinicchia, 53, of Lake George

PEDESTRIANS:
- Brian Hough, 46, of Moravia
- James Schnurr, 70, of Kerhonkson

___

12:50 p.m.

Flags on New York state property will be lowered to half-staff to honor the 20 people killed in a limousine crash, among them three state employees.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday the flags would be lowered from Thursday through the victims' burials.

Cuomo said "the entire family of New York mourns" for them.

The victims were killed when a stretch limousine hit a parked SUV Saturday in Schoharie (skoh-HAY'-ree). It's about 40 miles (64 kilometers) from the state capital in Albany.

One victim, Patrick Cushing, worked in the state Senate's technology office. Another, Amy Steenburg, was a nurse who worked for the state Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.

A third, Brian Hough, taught geology at the State University of New York at Oswego.

___

10:25 a.m.

An attorney for the company whose limousine was involved in an upstate New York crash that killed 20 people says multiple safety violations on its vehicles were fixed before the tragedy.

Attorney Lee Kindlon tells CBS News on Tuesday he doesn't think the recent infractions against Prestige limousine service contributed to Saturday's deadly crash.

The limo ran a stop sign and hit a parked SUV in Schoharie. Two pedestrians and all 18 people in the limo died.

Kindlon tells the Times Union of Albany the driver may have been unfamiliar with the roadway and misjudged his ability to stop at the bottom of the hill.

The owner of the company is out of the country. His son, Nauman Hussain, met with state police investigators Monday.

___

12:30 a.m.

A ceremony for the victims of the limousine crash that killed 20 people has ended with participants lifting candles above their heads to signal unity and perseverance.

Over 1,000 people jammed a riverside park in Amsterdam, New York, for Monday night's vigil. Some victims lived in the small city.

Some relatives of the dead shed tears as local officials expressed solidarity with them.

U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko told the families, in his words, "We are crushed with you, we are crushed for you." He's a Democrat from Amsterdam.

The 19-seater limo ran a stop sign and hit a parked SUV on Saturday in Schoharie. Two pedestrians and all 18 people in the limo died. The passengers were headed to a 30th birthday party.

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