Car Accident Lawyer
The Schoharie, New York State limousine crash that killed 20 people raises many safety issues and concerns.
Reports have stated that the driver had an improper license, that the limousine company had failed prior inspections, and the limousine was determined to be unsafe.
On September 29, 2018 the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine sped down a rural highway, through a stop sign, into an unoccupied car and killed 17 occupants and the driver, and 2 pedestrians. All of the 17 passengers who died were between 24 and 34 years old. This was the worst transportation related accident in the country since 2009, as a car accident lawyer Phoenix, AZ residents count on knows only too well.
The company was Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service. Shortly before the crash one of the passengers sent a text, that she was concerned about the condition of the car.
New York State officials stated that the company’s vehicles had failed several inspections. It has been reported that the New York State Department of Transportation cited the company for brake failure, including brakes out of service. It has been claimed by the State that the owner was warned not to operate the vehicle, that it was placed out of service.
The National Transportation Safety Board has begun to look into the mechanical and human causes of the crash. The Board further stated that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees motor carriers, so they want to see if the regulation of limousines is adequate.
The intersection where the accident occurred was also well known as dangerous, a road led downhill, toward the stop sign. Speed may have been close to 60 miles per hour. The engine was thrust backwards into the driver’s compartment.
Another concern is that limousine passengers riding in open spaces are not required to wear seat belts, increasing the risk of serious injuries.
A further source of concern are after market adjustments made to limousines, lengthening them, raising them, which may affect the vehicle’s structural integrity and safety. “Stretched” vehicles may compromise structural integrity and safety features, as the vehicle may be chopped up and put back together, with parts that are not originally designed for that particular vehicle. Such a vehicle is not designed to be the size of a bus, or crash tested in its current form, such a vehicle’s maneuverability, handling and stopping distance could all be impaired by varying modifications.
The crash has further raised questions about the safety inspections, regulation and oversight of stretch limousines.
Additionally, the driver did not have the appropriate driver’s license to be operating that vehicle. The operator has been charged with criminally negligent homicide.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Office of Paul Englander, PLC for their insight into car accidents and limousines.