N.Y. Limo Crash Is Deadliest US Transportation Incident Since 2009

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Officials said the limousine failed to stop at an intersection Saturday and went careening into a parking lot, where it struck a parked SUV.

The driver, who was among those to die, did not have a licence to carry passengers.

Names of the victims, several of whom were newlyweds, were not being released by state police this morning, but the story has gained worldwide news and names of certain victims have surfaced.

The victims' stories have turned from tales of hopeful young lives to stories of grief and sadness. No new press conferences have been scheduled.

There were 12 wrecks - and a dozen crash deaths - involving large limos from 2012 to 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Democratic State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara says the vigil will be held on Monday evening in Amsterdam. On Saturday, a 2001 Ford Excursion limousine failed to stop while traveling down Route 30 and ended up crashing into an unoccupied SUV parked at Kirby's store.

According to witnesses, the white SUV-style limo failed to halt at a stop sign, and was travelling at around 60mph (95km/h) when it flew through an intersection, hit an empty vehicle outside the Apple Barrel Country Store & Cafe, and then hurtled across a drainage ditch. Two pedestrians and all 18 people in the limo died.

The autopsies are due to be carried out at the Albany medical Center.

Before the limousine crashed on the way to a birthday party, one of the victims, Erin McGowan, texted a friend that the limousine appeared to have engine trouble, the New York Times reported.

CBS2's Tony Aiello spoke off-camera with surviving sibling Tom King Jr., who said there are no words to describe his family's pain. Some of them were from Gloversville and a few were from Broadalbin.

"My whole entire family is in complete and utter shock".

Calls to the families of the other victims were not returned, and The Washington Post is withholding their names until they can be confirmed by relatives.

Emergency personnel respond to the scene of the deadly crash.

The group included four sisters and two brothers.

The crash "sounded like an explosion", said Linda Riley, who was on a shopping trip with her sisters and had been in their parked vehicle at the time at the store. The couple had rented the limousine to celebrate Amy's 30th birthday with 16 of their friends and family members.

Valerie Abeling said her niece, Erin Vertucci McGowan and Erin's husband Shane McGowan, died together. Erin McGowan worked as an administrative assistant at St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam.

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In 2004, he testified in a case stemming from a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operation against two men who were charged with money laundering as part of a plot to import missiles to NY.

The Amsterdam school district is offering grief counseling Monday.

Some of their social media pages have already turned into unofficial memorials, as Amy Steenburg's page has.

"We want to look at everything that we can related to the company that operated that limousine", Sumwalt said. "It's such a tragedy now".

Authorities are still notifying the families of victims and declined to release the victims' names, according to Fiore. "I have directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy".

The collision turned a relaxed Saturday afternoon into chaos at a spot popular with tourists taking in the autumn foliage.

Jessica Kirby, the manager of the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe, told the New York Times that the limousine was probably traveling over 60 miles per hour as it came down the hill and that the store was crowded with visitors from out of town because of the long holiday weekend.

Amy's three older sisters also died in the crash. Manager Jessica Kirby said in an interview that it's only the latest accident to happen there.

"More accidents than I can count", she said in an email. "We also ask for respect and compassion as we continue the grieving process and cope through such misfortune".

"They did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn't have to drive anywhere", Mrs Douglas added. Abeling's own daughter was busy and couldn't join the party, a scheduling conflict that probably saved her life.

The fundraiser, set up by a friend of the girls' grandparents, Sarah Maltzman, is not just to help them with the expenses of raising two children, but also to start a college fund for them.

The 19-seater vehicle had at least some seat belts, but it was unclear whether anyone was wearing them, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said. Over the same period, 171,508 people were killed in 157,451 crashes involving all types of vehicles. Officials, including Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., had pushed for better federal safety regulations for limousines after the crash, citing "significant gaps" in the safety standards for the vehicles - which are often modified using aftermarket parts and techniques.

Three years ago, four women were killed in a limousine on Long Island as they toured wineries when the vehicle was hit by a truck.

They were in a Lincoln Town Car that had been cut apart and rebuilt in a stretch configuration to accommodate more passengers. "Was he trying to make up time?"

After a stretch limousine was T-boned and almost torn in half on New York's Long Island in 2015 - killing four women on a winery tour - a special grand jury implored Gov. Cuomo to examine the safety of such vehicles.

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