Twenty people have been killed after a stretch limousine taking guests to a birthday party crashed into a parked vehicle in upstate New York.
The Ford Excursion limo was carrying 18 people, including four sisters and their husbands, when it failed to stop at an intersection and collided with an unoccupied SUV shortly before 2pm on Saturday, New York State Police said.
The driver and all of the passengers died, along with two pedestrians. The crash, in the town of Schoharie, is the deadliest transport accident in the US since 3009, saysCNN.
“I don’t want to describe the scene. It’s not something I want to think about,” she added.
Authorities are still notifying the families of victims and have not yet released the names of those killed.
However, relatives of some of the victims have spoken to reporters, and said the limo had been en route to a birthday party. The passengers had initially rented “some kind of bus” but were sent the limo by the rental company after the bus broke down, family members toldThe Washington Post.
Valerie Abeling told CNN that the victims included her niece, Erin Vertucci, who was killed along with her husband, Shane McGowan. The couple had married in June.
“My family is just going through a lot,” Abeling said. “It’s a horrible tragedy and there’s no words to describe how we feel.”
The US National Transportation Safety Board chairman has launched an investigation into the crash, said chairman Robert Sumwalt. “Twenty fatalities, it’s just horrific,” he continued. “I’ve been on the board for 12 years and this is one of the biggest losses of life… that we’ve seen in a long, long time.”