Autopsy results released for Schoharie victims; NTSB gets look at limo

October 19, 2018 05:23 PM

State police now say blunt force trauma was the cause of death for all 20 victims in the Schoharie limousine crash.

Investigators announced the autopsy results Friday afternoon. They say multiple severe traumatic blunt force injuries killed the victims in the Oct. 6 tragedy.


Police are still awaiting the results of toxicology tests.
The investigation of the crash is ongoing.

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer tells NewsChannel 13 that NTSB investigators got a look at the limo Friday.

The limo remains in the possession of New York State Police after the limousine company's operator was charged four days after the crash with criminally negligent homicide.

Schumer says he expects the NTSB to publish its report on the crash in three months.

State police released the following statement on Friday:

"A representative from the NTSB was able to view the limo today, but there was no examination. Other representatives from the NTSB have also viewed the limo on other occasions since the crash.

The State Police and NTSB have been working hand-in-hand since the start of this investigation, and that will continue until the cause of this tragic crash has been determined.

The State Police has possession of the limousine under a search warrant as part of the criminal investigation. The vehicle is the most important piece of evidence that will help ultimately determine the cause of the crash, and the extent of any criminal wrongdoing.

The Schoharie County District Attorney has directed that the NTSB will be able to conduct a hands-on inspection of the vehicle once the State Police examination is complete, and after the defense attorney in the case has also had an opportunity to access the vehicle. This process should be completed in the next few weeks.

The preservation of evidence is critically important to the criminal case; if the NTSB were allowed to handle evidence before it has been fully examined and processed by the State Police and the defense, it would jeopardize the criminal case.

Consistent with long-standing criminal investigatory practices that have been in place for decades, law enforcement must first preserve evidence to be used in a criminal proceeding and then coordinate with the relevant state and federal agencies to support other investigations. 

The  NTSB is fully aware that the criminal case is the priority, and they understand that the vehicle must be fully processed by the State Police and the defense before they have an opportunity for a hands-on examination."


Chris Rooney

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