NY limousine crash kills 20 people

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Officials said the limousine was on its way to a surprise party for Amy at an upstate NY brewery.

There, it struck a parked SUV and at least two pedestrians, before becoming lodged in a ditch at the side of the road, police said. Witnesses described a horrific scene following the crash, with people screaming and several bodies on the ground.

Family members said the group was doing a tour of local breweries at the time of the crash.

The crash killed everyone in the limousine, including the driver and all 17 passengers, police said.

Authorities said at a news conference Sunday that the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine plowed into an unoccupied sport-utility vehicle in a parking lot across from the intersection. The limo blew past the stop sign at speeds upward of 60 miles per hour, according to witness accounts, Tavenner said. He said the limo was carrying out-of-towners during a busy tourist weekend, Stone Fort Days.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a "go-team" to the crash site from Washington DC, which are used to investigate major accidents.

It was unclear how many other people, if any, were injured.

"They had everything going for them", Abeling said.

U.S. media had earlier reported that the vehicle was on its way to a wedding, but an aunt of one of the victims has said it was in fact heading to a birthday party.

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Sources familiar with case told Associated Press that 18 of the victims were in the limousine, while the remaining two were bystanders.

Valerie Abeling says newlyweds Erin Vertucci and Shane McGowan were among those killed.

Erin, 34, and Shane, 30, were married in June in upstate NY.

"It's tragic. disgusting. I can't even begin to even explain". She lived in Amsterdam, New York, according to her Facebook page. "Our lives have been changed forever".

A limousine carrying several couples to a birthday party failed to stop at an intersection in upstate NY and struck a parked vehicle, killing 20 people in the deadliest transportation accident in the United States in almost a decade, according to authorities and a family member.

Also killed in the crash were three of the women's husbands: Axel Steenburg, Adam Jackson and Rob Dyson.

Just last week, Karina Halse was laughing with her sister, Amanda Halse, at a plant shop in Vermont.

She says Vertucci was 34 and McGowan was 30. "She was a attractive, sweet soul".

Rich Steenburg, Axel's brother, was also killed in the crash, according to a report in the New York Times.

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"I don't want to describe the scene", Kirby told the newspaper.

Calls to the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe were not answered Sunday afternoon.

"Our hearts grieve for the victim's families, our customers who tried to help, and our staff who did everything they could to comfort", the post said.

Here's a look at what we know about the victims so far. "Thank you for understanding".

Investigators continue to investigate what may have caused the crash today.

She became a teacher because she loved working with children, Rich Peters, president of the Amsterdam Teachers Association, told the Times Union. Officials, including Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., had pushed for better federal safety regulations for limousines after the crash, citing "significant gaps" in the safety standards for the vehicles - which are often modified using aftermarket parts and techniques.

The crash appeared to be the deadliest land-vehicle accident in the US since a bus full of Texas nursing home patients fleeing 2005's Hurricane Rita caught fire, killing 23.

Apple Barrel closed following the crash on Saturday and released a statement about the tragic incident on Facebook.

"It was just a nice get-together for all three of us girls to have a nice day out", Karina Halse said.

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