Officials are calling it the deadliest transportation crash in the United States in nearly a decade.
Saturday afternoon in upstate New York, a stretch limousine ran through a stop sign and struck two pedestrians, killing both. The limo crashed into a vacant parked SUV, killing everyone inside.
The limo was transporting a birthday party on their way to a brewery. Three of the victims were sisters, whose husbands were also inside the vehicle. Their children were left at home.
The cause of the limo crash is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). However, as of Monday (October 8th) investigators have recovered the vehicle’s event data recorder or EDR, sometimes referred to informally as an automotive “black box.”
The vehicle was once a Ford Excursion that had been modified into a limousine. This is particularly dangerous because after-market modifications often affect a vehicle’s structural integrity and safety. Last month the vehicle had its mandatory state inspection and failed. In addition, the limousine driver should have never been behind the wheel. Scott Lisinicchia did not have had a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) required to operate a limousine. Although liability is still in question, the limousine company Prestige Limousine is going to have a lot of questions to answer.
“They did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn’t have to drive anywhere”
– Barbara Douglass, Aunt of three victims
By law, only the driver and front seat passenger of the limousine are required to wear seatbelts. Seatbelt usage in limos, taxis, school busses, and other means of public transport is sparse. The question arises: why are seatbelts not required in some instances but not others?
The NTSB is concerned with the lack of usage of seatbelts in limousines. In light of this horrific crash, they are exploring ways to prevent deadly incidents like this from happening again.
Monday night, the community joined together in Schoharie, NY to honor the memory of the 20 people who died in the crash.
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