SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (ABC NEWS) – The investigation into the limousine crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie on Saturday continues.
The limousine that crashed Saturday in Schoharie had been cited in March by New York State Department of Transportation for brake failures, including “Brakes Out of Service” and “Brake Connections with Constrictions Under Vehicle.”
When the limo was re-inspected six months later, the Department of Transportation noted the limousine’s “failure to correct defects noted on previous inspection report.”
Records show the vehicles inspected on September 4 and March 21 had different license plates but the VIN numbers match and a source familiar with the inspections told ABC News the violations are indeed for the same vehicle. According to ABC News, authorities are probing why the same limousine was submitted for inspection with two different license plates.
The operator of the limo company, Nauman Hussain, was arrested in a “controlled traffic stop” because state police feared he was trying to flee, a source told ABC News. The district attorney said there were suitcases in the car. The defense attorney said he feared death threats but investigators aren’t sure whether to believe that.
New York State Police said a 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was traveling southwest on Route 30 and failed to stop at the Route 30A intersection in Schoharie on Saturday. The limo traveled across the intersection into the Apple Barrel Country Store parking lot and struck a parked and unoccupied 2015 Toyota Highlander. The limo continued into a small wooded ravine where it came to a rest.
State Police have set up a dedicated phone line to assist family members of the victims. Family members are encouraged to call 1-877-672-4911.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing.
State Police say that the victims were active on their cell phones prior to the crash, both texting and on social media.