Tourist-spot crash in upstate New York kills 18 in wedding-party limo and 2 bystanders

This limo was not built this large in the factory–instead it was extended. One wonders if this was a factor in the large number of deaths.

Another factor:

Looking at on street view, it appears that it’s only a dangerous intersection because idiots are allowed to drive. First you have to ignore one of these signs before barrelling through a large, red, eight-sided sign that says STOP at the intersection. Unless you’re texting or watching Spongebob on your phone, it shouldn’t be a problem. Also on street view, there aren’t skid marks all over the south bound lane.

I’ve been through the 30/30A intersection a few times in different directions. It’s easy to be caught off guard coming down that hill, even in a passenger car with good brakes and a shorter stopping distance. Speed can creep up on you.

The road design is a factor, but I suspect the real problem will be that it was an after-market stretched Ford Excursion. I wouldn’t be surprised if an investigation indicated that the brakes were still stock and not rated for that kind of weight, for instance.

Birtyhday, not wedding, was my understanding.

The article says the limo hit a vehicle in the parking lot of the country store.

So not only did the driver miss the stop sign, he left the road and would have had to swerve left somewhat.

I wonder if the driver might have been impaired.

I read that only the driver was wearing a seatbelt. A witness said the limo was going around 60 coming down that hill.

This was a very close-knit group of 30-something family and friends. And yes, it was the birthday of one of the women.


Someone on another board who says they live in that town said that the restaurant refused to close, even when law enforcement recommended that they do so. :eek:

My guess is that the driver had some kind of medical incident (i.e. stroke or heart attack) and that’s why he lost control of the vehicle. The autopsy will definitely look for this.

I’m not surprised. A limo like that usually doesn’t even have seat belts in the back. They are not required by law for buses or limos with a passenger capacity of 10 or more. It probably had what is called “perimeter seating” so almost all the passengers were sitting sideways to the direction of travel. In such cases, seat belts are probably of limited use anyway.

Limos like that are basically death traps, for a variety of reasons. In most states except California, they aren’t even required to have doors, windows, or other exits that that can be opened from the inside in case of emergency. The California law was passed only in response to a horrific limo fire in 2013 that killed five women trapped inside.

If they were on a wine tour, I would be wondering how many wineries they had already been to, and I would definitely check on the driver’s blood alcohol content.

That would be my guess to account for the huge number of fatalities.
I dread to think of what would be happening in even a low speed collision with 18 unsecured passengers flying around.

Expect regulations on seat belts to come in very rapidly (and an eternal battle to get people in limos to wear them)

The limo had failed an inspectionand wasn’t supposed to be in use. Also, the driver did not have the necessary license.

I recall reading about the incident that the restaurant management announced they’d be open and “the restaurant could use a hug”.

The article I read also was headlined as a wedding party in the limo, but the text of the article barely made it clear that it was a group celebrating a birthday for one woman and two of the group were newlyweds. The article also mentioned that stretch limos which are “stretched” after purchase usually do not have side airbags in the added part of the limo.

I’m interested to know why the vehicle failed inspection. I have access to it but probably shouldn’t look as a mere curious party.

From the previous article:

So it is possible that just the lack of federal certification is the reason it failed inspection.

I saw that and thought it was a different issue from the failed inspection. I assumed they were referring to a failed roadside inspection. This could be what he meant, though.

This is what I assumed they were referring to:

“US Department of Transportation records show Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service has two drivers and three vehicles. Its vehicles were inspected five times in the last two years, and the company has had four vehicles taken out of service.”

I figured it had been placed out of service during one of those.

That’s a pretty high OOS rate for a limo company.

One of the partiers texted a friend that the limo was in awful shape and the motor noise was deafening.

I’m wondering if the driver and some/all of the passengers were dead of carbon monoxide even before the crash. The loud sound could have been a faulty exhaust(?) I find it amazing that no one survived (the one person alive at the scene was DOA at hospital).

Is CO2 measurable in an autopsy?

I think you mean is CO (carbon monoxide) measurable, and I think, based on years of watching police procedurals, the answer is yes.

Whoops, yes: CO

And isn’t the body bright pink? They’d know it was likely just from a visual inspection.