The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a fatal Oct. 6 accident in Schoharie, New York that caused by a limousine that sped through a stop sign and killed 20 people. The results of the NTSB's investigation of this tragic accident could reveal deficiencies about the use of stretch limousines and the risks of commercial vehicle accidents in Indiana and across the country.
A 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was traveling on Route 30 approximately 170 miles north of New York City. It drove through a T-junction with another highway, according to the New York State Police.
The vehicle crossed the road and hit an unoccupied vehicle parked at a general store. The general store owner claimed that the limo was probably traveling over 60 mph.
One witness said that the crash sounded like an explosion. She saw a body on the ground and branches everywhere.
The limo driver and its 17 passengers were killed. Two bystanders also suffered fatal injuries. The NTSB said this is the deadliest transportation accident in this country in a decade.
No information was released concerning the limousines integrity or design. However, questions are being raised about vehicles that are converted into stretch limousines. These vehicles are cut apart and rebuilt to seat more passengers
Limousines that are factory-built meet strict safety regulations. However, vehicles converted into limousines often lack safety features such as side-impact air bags, rollover protection bars and exits that are accessible.
In 2015, four women on a winery tour in a reconverted Lincoln Town Car were killed in Long Island when that limousine when a pick-up truck crashed into it as it was making a U-turn. A grand jury found that these vehicles lack important safety features and asked the governor to convene a task force on their safety.
Legal representation should be promptly sought after these accidents. An attorney can help victims of an accident caused by a negligent driver or unsafe vehicle seek compensation for their injuries.