Limousine Crashes Kills 20 in Upstate New York
A crash involving a stretch limousine killed 20 people on Saturday in Schoharie, Upstate New York. Authorities stated that the limo failed to stop at a stop sign and plowed into a parked, unoccupied Toyota Highlander. Eighteen people were in the limo, all were killed. The Highlander then was shoved into two bystanders, who were also killed.
“This is one of the biggest losses of life that we’ve seen in a long, long time,” he said, the deadliest since February 2009 when Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed in Buffalo, New York, killing 50 people.” Robert Sumwalt, NTSB
— CBS 6 Albany – WRGB (@CBS6Albany) October 7, 2018
The accident occurred at around 2 p.m. near an Apple Barrel Cafe in Schoharie, according to reports. Schoharie is a popular tourist spot due to the fall colors and apple festival.
Though the news media instantly called the incident as a wedding party, we have learned that the limo was on its way to a birthday party, not a wedding. It was a limousine used for weddings, which is likely where the confusion came. One couple in the limo, Erin and Shane McGowan were married in June, so were newlyweds.
According to Stripes, witnesses said that the 2001 Ford Excursion limo came down the road at about 60 miles per hour, and blew through a stop sign to hit the 2005 Highlander.
— Sonya Heaney (@HeaneySonya) October 7, 2018
One witness stated that when the vehicles collided, it “sounded like an explosion.”
An NTSB “Go-Team” is investigating the cause of the crash. It is unknown at this time whether the limousine was equipped with any safety measures.
The Apple Barrel posted on their Facebook Page that they were grateful for the emergency responders and were collecting donations for them.
“As you may be aware, there was a horrific accident in front of our business today. First, we want to thank all of the emergency services that responded. We are so thankful for all of you. Our hearts grieve for the victim’s families, our customers who tried to help, and our staff who did everything they could to comfort…”
According to Fox, the intersection is known for being dangerous.
Local officials have previously said the intersection was dangerous, with the potential to cause a deadly crash. Schoharie Town Supervisor Alan Tavenner told the Times Union of Albany that transportation officials attempted to make the intersection safer about seven years ago.
The improvements, however, didn’t seem to work.
“There have been tractor trailers that have come barreling down that hill and it was a miracle they didn’t kill somebody,” Tavenner said.
“I honestly think it was a more dangerous intersection than it was before,” he told The New York Times.
Featured photo: Screenshot via Twitter