20 people died in upstate New York on Saturday after a limousine crashed. Officials say it’s the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. since 2009.
During a press conference Sunday afternoon, the New York State Police confirmed that “18 of the victims were in the limousine, including the driver,” and that “two pedestrians standing nearby were also struck and killed.” All of the passengers inside the limo were killed.
According to the Associated Press, two of the victims were newlyweds Erin Vertucci, 34, and Shane McGowan, 30. The couple who had rented the limo, Axel and Amy Steenburg, recently married in June and also died.
Valerie Abeling, the aunt of one of the victims, told the AP that the limo was heading to a birthday celebration at the time of the crash.
Police say the accident occurred at about 1:55 p.m. on Saturday in Schoharie at the intersection of State Route 30 and State Route 30A after the limo, a 2011 Ford Excursion, “failed to stop at the intersection of State Route 30A.”
The limousine then reportedly “traveled across the intersection into a parking lot and struck a 2015 Toyota Highlander that was unoccupied and parked.” The Highlander then hit and killed two pedestrians.
Jessica Kirby, manager of the Apple Barrel Country Store, told the New York Times that the crash occurred in the parking lot of the store. She explained to the paper:
“That limo was coming down that hill probably over 60 miles per hour.”
This has been the deadliest transportation accident since 50 people lost their lives during the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 in Buffalo in February 2009.
The New York State Police have created a phone line dedicated to helping family members of the crash victims. Loved ones are encouraged to call 1-877-672-4911.
Our hearts go out to the victims’ families.
[Image via CBS News/YouTube.]
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