by Evie Fordham
Twenty people were killed when a limousine full of birthday party guests sped through an intersection and ended up smashing into a car and people in a parking lot in Schoharie, New York, Saturday.
Here is what we know so far about the horrific crash, which federal officials say was the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. since 2009.
What Do Investigators Say?
All 17 limo passengers, the limo driver and two pedestrians died in the crash in the early afternoon Saturday. The 2001 Ford Excursion limo failed to stop at an intersection and struck an SUV and two people in the parking lot of Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe in Schoharie, reported CNN.
Investigators have not revealed the exact cause of the crash, reported The New York Times. The National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating the crash since Sunday and expects to remain until Thursday or Friday, reported CNN.
Investigators have not revealed if they have any information about the limo’s brakes or the driver’s speed, reported CNN.
The town of Schoharie is roughly 160 miles from New York City.
Who Were The Passengers?
The 17 passengers were a group of friends gathering to celebrate the 30th birthday of Amy Steenburg, who had married husband Axel Steenburg in the summer of 2018. They were headed to a brewery in Cooperstown, New York, and rented the limo so that nobody would be drinking and driving.
The accident rocked two families in particular. Three of Amy Steenburg’s sisters, Mary Dyson, Allison King and Abby Jackson, died in the limo crash. Husband Axel Steenburg’s brother Rich was killed, leaving behind a 10-year-old daughter and 14-year-old stepson, reported The NYT.
Another newlywed couple, Erin and Shane McGowan, were in the limo when it crashed. They had married in June, reported the NYT.
Authorities have not released the names of all of the victims, reported CNN.
Were The Passengers Wearing Seatbelts?
Investigators have not revealed whether any of the passengers were wearing seatbelts, reported CNN. Some states like New York do not require all backseat passengers to buckle up, even though nearly 50 percent of traffic deaths happened when the individual was not wearing a seatbelt in 2017, reported CBS News.
Deadly limo accidents have happened every year in the U.S. since 2000, reported CBS News.
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