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NTSB releases preliminary report on Schoharie limo crash

February 11, 2019 11:15 PM

The NTSB released its preliminary report Monday on the devastating limousine crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie last fall. The two-page report describes the incident on Oct. 6, but stops short of offering a cause.

The limousine was carrying a driver and 17 passengers when it blew through a stop sign at the intersection of routes 30 and 30A and collided with an SUV in the parking lot of the Apple Barrel restaurant before ending up in a ravine. The report says a wittiness saw the limousine going through the intersection at a high rate of speed. 

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All 18 people in the limousine were killed as well as two people who were hit in the parking lot.

The report describes the 2001 Ford Excursion that belonged to Prestige Limousine, saying it had been lengthened by 180 inches in order to increase the seating capacity to 18 occupants, including the driver.

“We’re trying to figure out who did those modifications,” said Defense Attorney Lee Kindlon who represents Nauman Hussain, the operator of the Prestige Limo Company. “My clients bought it from another limo company who had driven it that way, so we’re still trying to unpack a lot of those things. Ultimately, one of the questions I think everybody needs to answer is were those modifications some sort of proximate cause of this event."

The limousine also had seats that had lap belts and were not forward-facing.

“These are seats on the sides of the vehicle and on the front and on the back,” explained Kindlon. “Those are not traditional seats and I think that was the illusions made in the report, nothing else.”

The NTSB says all aspects of the crash remain under investigation with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes.

Kindlon said his team is anxiously awaiting the preliminary investigation report from New York State Police.

“Obviously they have an eye towards any attempt to prosecute Mr. Hussain and that could be any day,” said Kindlon. “I know that they’ve had access to the limo for months, but without that we’re all kind of in a holding pattern."


MORE INFORMATION: NTSB Preliminary Report

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Chris Rooney

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