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Supplemental search warrant in Schoharie crash investigation signed

February 06, 2019 07:22 PM

NewsChannel 13 obtained a copy of the supplemental search warrant for New York State Police and the agency's accident reconstructionist signed by Schoharie County Court Judge George Bartlett III.  It was signed January 30, 2019 ordering State Police to "search, remove, disassemble, and inspect the transmission and torque converter" and transport it to the NYSP accident reconstructionist. 

NewsChannel 13 asked, but New York State Police would not say whether they or their accident reconstructionist took a closer look yet at those specific parts of the 2001 Ford Excursion stretch limousine. Instead, they referred NewsChannel 13 to the Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery for a comment.  Mallery did not return our call or email for comment. 

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The crash in Schoharie happened on October 6, 2018 and claimed the lives of 20 people.  Attorneys representing the estates of several of the crash victims have not been able to access the vehicle -- and they are frustrated.

Attorney Mikhail Shah of Girvin & Ferlazzo, PC told NewsChannel 13, "It really makes it difficult for us, because all we can do at this point is just hope nothing is being spoilated," he said.

Attorney Shah and Attorney Sal Ferlazzo represent the estate of Schoharie crash victim Amanda Rivenburg. 

"We don't know if things are going to be broken, if things are going to be lost during that process. If they're going to be altered, they're not going to be in the same shape or manner or mechanism in the way that they are in the limo currently," said Shah.

Now, lawyers for Rivenburg's estate say the District Attorney's Office in Schoharie County told them the owner of the limousine company, Prestige, is in Dubai -- and there is no extradition treaty with the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part of according to the Department of State. Attorney Shah says they're asking a judge in Albany to intervene and allow them to make notification of their lawsuit against owner Shahed Hussain and his son, Prestige's Operator Nauman Hussain, who is the only person charged in the crash.

"Unfortunately, in this case with the insurance company which represents the DBA that he was working under has declined to accept service and the attorneys who represent the insurance company have also declined to accept service. So that kind of puts us – and more importantly our clients in a bind," said Shah.

In the past, Defense Attorney Lee Kindlon says his client Nauman Hussain would be available to return to the Capital District upon request.  NewsChannel 13 also reached out to the New York State Police accident reconstructionist and did not hear back.


MORE INFORMATION: Supplemental search warrant in Schoharie limo crash investigation

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Jill Konopka

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