Four sisters, two brothers and two pairs of newlyweds were among the victims of the horrific car crash. According to the media reports, the limousine was taking the passengers to the birthday party past a stop sign at the highway and ploughed into a parked car on Monday.
Federal described this incident as one of the deadliest in the U.S history of crashes.
The Times Union of Rochester stated that one of the newlywed couples Erin and Shane McGowan were just starting the life together after five months of marriage.
The McGowan’s were a part of a party of 17 young adults who were headed to a surprise birthday party, upstate New York brewery, of their friend Amy Steenburg’s in a stretch limousine 2001 Ford Excursion and never made it, officials said.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that the limo crossed through the highway intersection, without stopping on Saturday afternoon, about 40miles (65km) west of Albany.
It crashed into an unoccupied parked car, along with hitting two pedestrians before coming to a rest in a shallow ravine.
Amy Steenburg was also a newlywed. She along with her three sisters – Mary Dyson, Allison King and Abby Jackson and her husband Axel Steenburg and his brother, Rich Steenburg, all died, The New York Times.
Barbara Douglas, who was the aunt of three sisters said that the victims were smart, beautiful and lived the life to the fullest. She told reporters at the scene that:
“I don’t know how you say it. You can’t wrap your head around such a tragedy where you have four of your daughters die.”
After 2009 plane crash in Buffalo, New York, that killed 49 people, it was the deadliest transportation accident in the US; Chairman Robert Sumwalt told a news conference on Sunday.
Linda Riley, one of the eyewitnesses of the car crash said that she was on a shopping trip with her sisters and the crash sounded like an explosion, and they were in their parked car at the time at the store.
She said that when she got out of the car, she saw a body on the ground and broken tree branches everywhere.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo said:
“My heart breaks for the 20 people who lost their lives in this horrific accident on Saturday in Schoharie. I commend the first responders who arrived on the scene and worked through the night to help. State police are working with federal and local authorities to investigate the crash, and I have directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy.”