Cuomo: Limo in crash that killed 20 failed inspection last month

Debris scatters an area on Oct. 7 2018 at the site of yesterday’s fatal crash Schoharie N.Y

Two newlywed couples and four sisters - ranging in age from 30 to 35 - are among the 20 people who died in Saturday's collision in NY state.

"We have been asking for something to be done for years", she said in an email.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo spoke about the development, as federal transportation authorities started what will be a lengthy investigation of the vehicle, the driver and other factors related to an intersection that many consider to be unsafe.

"The driver of the vehicle - the quote-unquote limousine - did not have the appropriate driver's license to be operating that vehicle", Cuomo told reporters in Manhattan.

Officials urged anyone with information on the lead-up to the crash to come forward, including text messages or social media posts that could she further light on the tragedy.

He said the aim of the investigation was to determine how to prevent such a devastating crash from ever occurring again, and did not rule out that the probe could shed broader insights on the safety of passenger limousines themselves.

"More accidents than I can count", said Jessica Kirby, the managing director of the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe.

All 18 people in the limo and two pedestrians were killed.

The passengers of the limo - including four sisters, newlyweds and young couples - were all reportedly celebrating a birthday party.

The fatal accident came just 20 minutes after one of the occupants texted her cousin, saying the limo was "in bad condition".

"She was a attractive, sweet soul; he was, too, they were very sweet", Abeling said. Cars owned by NY residents need to be inspected yearly.

"They were handsome girls, full of life".

"My sister was the most attractive soul that I've ever been so grateful to know in my life", Karina Halse told host Robin Roberts, through tears.

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Get everything in writing just in case there are issues. According to NY law, any vehicle that can accommodate 10 or more passengers must offer seat belts to those in the rear - but if the passengers are over 16 years old, they don't have to wear them. "Thank you for being so kind and loving xo #justbecause #husband".

Local leaders, clergy members and residents who knew the victims were among the vigil attendees in Amsterdam, which is the hometown of several victims, community members said.

All 17 passengers were killed.

Other victims include Robert and Mary Dyson, who were married in 2009 and have one son together. Steenburg's husband Axel Steenburg also was killed.

Patrick Cushing, and his girlfriend of two years, Amanda Halse, have also been confirmed as among the dead.

While Cuomo revealed some new details about the accident, he said it's unclear if the vehicle suffered a malfunction or the driver was as fault.

Valerie Abeling, the aunt of victim Erin Vertucci, said her 34-year-old niece and her niece's new husband, 30-year-old Shane McGowan, were victims.

"Obviously, there are a lot of unanswered questions, and the families deserve this respect and response", an emotional U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko, D-Amsterdam, said. "We're just talking layers of tragedy".

The motorist behind the wheel in what has been dubbed the "most deadly transportation accident" since 2009 did not have a proper license at the time of the crash, according to reports.

Many have speculated that the limo was modified in way to make it "stretch", which could also have caused it to lose some safety features.

"Second, that vehicle was inspected by the NY state Department of Transportation last month and failed inspection".

A grand jury found that vehicles converted into stretch limousines often don't have safety measures including side-impact air bags, reinforced rollover protection bars and accessible emergency exits.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sets standards for newly manufactured vehicles, but limos that are modified after they're off the assembly line can skirt NHTSA oversight.

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