Published: Tue, October 09, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Newlyweds, sisters and close friends were killed in NY limo crash

Newlyweds, sisters and close friends were killed in NY limo crash

A person with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that 18 of the victims in Saturday afternoon's crash at the Apple Barrel Country Store were in the limo and two were bystanders. Two pedestrians also were killed.

Officials said the limo was descending a hill on Route 30 in Schoharie and failed to stop at an intersection, a T-junction, where there's a stop sign.

"My niece was four years older than him, and she said she found the love of her life", she said.

A limousine loaded with revellers headed to a 30th birthday party in the United States flew through a stop sign at the end of a highway and smashed into an SUV outside a store, killing 20.

The company said it was taking its cars off the road while conducting its own probe into the crash.

The limo was bound for a Cooperstown brewery when it crashed on a winding road in rural Schoharie, about 160 miles north of New York City.

"It's a terrible tragedy, and there's no words to describe how we feel", Abeling said.

Officials said the limousine was on its way to a surprise party for Amy at an upstate NY brewery.

The National Transportation Safety Board says there were no apparent skid marks before a limousine barreled through an intersection and crashed into a parked vehicle, killing 20 people.

"Twenty fatalities is just horrific", Sumwalt said on Sunday.

They were celebrating Amy Steenburg's 30th birthday, said Anthony Vertucci, the uncle of Erin McGowan, who was killed in the crash along with her new husband Shane McGowan. The remainder of the group were close school and neighborhood friends, including another newlywed couple, Erin and Shane McGowan.

All of Ms. Steenburg's sisters, and Mr. Steenburg's brother, Rich, also died in the accident.

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When she got out of her vehicle, she saw a body on the ground and broken tree branches everywhere, she said. That friend and her three sisters and their spouses were all killed, Abeling said. Some of the passengers had young children.

Authorities later determined that the vehicle had failed a safety inspection last month, and that the limo driver did not have the necessary commercial licence to operate the vehicle.

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.

Some relatives of the dead shed tears as local officials expressed solidarity with them at Monday's vigil in Amsterdam, New York.

The state ordered the owner, Prestige Limousine, shut down while an investigation continues into what caused Saturday's shocking accident in Schoharie, New York.

"They were two very young, lovely people", said Abeling.

A witness says a crash that killed 20 people in upstate ny "sounded like an explosion".

In a statement Monday, the limo company said it "extends its deepest condolences to the family members and friends of those who tragically lost their lives on Saturday". She and Axel Steenburg just married in June. "They were saving for a house and hoping to do everything that everybody hopes to do", he said.

Four sisters from the King family - Amy Steenburg, Mary Dyson, Allison King and Abby Jackson - died in the crash, the Times wrote, citing relatives.

She and her husband Adam left behind two daughters: 4-year-old Archer and 16-month-old Elle.

The crash occurred outside the Appel Barrel Country Store and Cafe, a popular spot for tourists who come to view the region's fall foliage.

"It's tragic. disgusting. I can't even begin to even explain", Valerie Abeling told The Washington Post, confirming that her 34-year-old niece, Erin McGowan, and her new husband, Shane McGowan, 30, were among the dead. But we already know how current regulations, enforcement and the design of these vehicles affect the chances of something like this happening.

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