It’s Monday morning; Columbus Day. Some people are off for the holiday enjoying some extra snooze time. Others are arriving at work or getting home from putting their child on the school bus. We turn on our laptops, smart phones or computers and catch up on the weekend news. Then you see the headlines, “20 People Killed When Limo Blows Through a Stop Sign”. You pause, you put your coffee down, and you re-read in disbelief.
This is one of the worst automobile accidents we have learned about in a very long time. There have been a fair share of limo accidents, but not twenty people losing their lives as a result. The twenty people were killed in a horrific car crash at the intersection of Routes 30 and 30-A in the town of Schoharie just before 2 p.m. Saturday, according to police. News reports indicate this is a known danger spot that has long worried locals, according to a manager of a nearby store.
NY State Police have determined that a 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was traveling southwest on Route 30 and failed to stop at the Route 30-A intersection. All 18 people were killed in the limo and 2 pedestrians. What was supposed to be a beautiful birthday celebration, turned into a nightmare affecting multiple families forever.
The National Transportation Safety Board arrived Sunday morning to begin their investigation. It’s too early to say exactly what happened. What is known is that the limo blew through the stop sign at a high speed and that this is not the first fatality at this intersection. In 2008 the intersection had been changed because of a fatality. Since the reconstruction, three tractor-trailers have run through the same stop sign. Officials worked with the state to outlaw heavy trucks, but there are still accidents.
Attorney Neal Goldstein weighs in on the tragedy: “I’ve been practicing law a long time. In the personal injury field you see a lot of accidents. This one is up there as one of the worst. The amount of people who lost their lives in an instances is beyond comprehension. You never get used to hearing this kind of news. I’m a father and a husband first, and I can’t imagine the pain those families are going through right now. They will want answers. Nothing is going to bring back their loved ones, but they deserve to know how and why this happened. I’ll be following this investigation to see what is uncovered. There’s a lot of questions… was there a medical emergency, was the driver impaired, distracted? Did the limo company properly maintain the limo? Time will tell.”
Update 0/8/2018 2:33pm
The modified limo that crashed and killed 20 people wasn’t even supposed to be on the road, New York’s governor said Monday.
On top of that, the driver “did not have the appropriate driver’s license to be operating that vehicle,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Stretch limos, which are chopped up by second-stage manufacturers and extended in length, are not subject to any regulatory agency. This means that the safety of these limos is suspect during an accident. These modifications can also create blind spots for the driver, which is dangerous for the passengers as well as other vehicles on the road. In 2013, a limo transporting a bachelorette party caught fire because of friction between the car’s drive shaft and rear floorboard. Tragically, five people died in the accident, including the bride-to-be. Then, only a month later, a party bus shifted throwing a passenger against a door which fell open throwing him onto a freeway. The doors were supposed to be locked when the bus was in motion, but the mechanical failure cost the passenger his life.
Our New York limousine collision injury lawyers recognize the struggles that you may face if you or someone you love has been injured in a crash because of an unsafe limo or poorly trained driver. We also handle wrongful death suits. Our law firm has the expertise, empathy, diligence, and tenacity to help you seek justice.