SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (WENY) - Officials are calling it the deadliest transportation accident in the country since 2009. A limo that was carrying 18 people, including the driver crashed this past Saturday in Schoharie, New York, about 30 miles West of Albany.
State police say the limo was driving on Route 30 when it ran a stop sign and plowed into the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Store, killing 2 pedestrians. 26-year-old Amanda Halse was one of those victims, along with her boyfriend, 31-year-old Patrick Cushing.
WENY spoke with Halse's cousin, Nicole Schimmel, who says the tragedy has been a nightmare and she still is still in disbelief.
"My aunt Sandra called me and she told me she had horrible news. She had found out from my cousin EJ who was Amanda's father that she was one of the victims of the limousine accident," says Nicole Schimmel, family member of Amanda Halse.
Nicole added, "She told me to turn on the news and that I would be able to see it...and I was just in absolute disbelief and shock overhearing this, its such a terrible hit on our family," said Nicole Schimmel.
According to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, the driver of the limo did not have the appropriate driver's license and the limo reportedly failed its inspection last month.
WENY spoke with an owner of a Transportation service in the Twin Tiers who says there are strict regulations when it comes to carrying that many people and more.
"They're pretty rigorous. They actually make us put wheels on the vehicles, they check the breaks, they check the tires, they check the inside of the vans, they check emergency exits and lights. If its equipped on it and it works on the vehicle, they check everything," said Gregg Terpolilli, owner and operator of Terp's Enterprises Inc.
The tragedy is currently being investigated by both the National Transportation Safety Board and the New York State Police.