1. Newlywed’s chilling last text before horror limo crash that killed 20.
Shortly after, the limo crashed killing all 17 passengers, including two pairs of newlyweds, four sisters from one family and two brothers from another. The driver and two pedestrians also died in the accident.
It is the deadliest US transport crash in nearly a decade, according to federal authorities.
The Washington Post reported one of the victims involved in the crash told her cousin moments before the collision that the stretch limousine was in terrible condition.
Valerie Abeling’s 34-year-old niece, Erin McGowan, and her new husband, Shane McGowan, 30, were among the 20 people killed. The couple were married in June.
Just 20 minutes before the crash, Erin text her cousin, Abeling’s daughter, to say the limousine was in a “terrible condition”.
The New York Times reported she also text a friend about the vehicle’s condition and motor problems.
“The motor is making everyone deaf,” she said.
The limousine failed an inspection last month and its driver was not properly licensed, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said.
The company that owned the 2001 Ford Excursion stretch limo was being sent a cease and desist order to halt operations until the crash is investigated, Cuomo said at New York City’s Columbus Day Parade on Monday.
The NTSB, a federal agency, is investigating the crash and will look at the adequacy of regulations for limousines, whose passengers are not required to wear seat belts.
“I can tell you that wearing seat belts does save lives. Whether or not it would have made a difference here … remains to be seen,” Sumwalt said.
Sumwalt said most of the victims were found inside the vehicle following the crash and one or two victims may have been ejected. Investigators also plan to look into whether the design of the roadway was a factor in the crash.
The vehicle crashed after it ran a stop sign at a highway intersection in Schoharie, New York, about 65 km west of Albany, police and the NTSB said.
It crashed into an unoccupied parked car and hit two pedestrians before coming to a rest in a shallow ravine, officials said.
Investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash at a later time.