Twenty people have been killed in a horror road crash in upstate NY after a limo collided with pedestrians.
Valerie Abeling, the aunt of one of the victims, said the vehicle was on its way to a birthday celebration, and newlyweds Erin Vertucci and Shane McGowan were among those killed.
"All fatal. That limo was coming down that hill probably over 60 miles per hour (100kph)". She added that one of the vehicles appeared to be a limousine. "It's not something I want to think about", she was quoted as saying. A wide swath of scoured grass leading to a small ravine, showered with crash debris, could be clearly seen where the limo had careened off the road.
Recovery crews remove debris from the scene.
State Police say they have set up a dedicated phone line to assist family members of the victims.
The disaster is one of the most fatal vehicle accidents in recent memory in area and the worst transportation disaster to hit the Capital Region since the 2005 sinking of the Ethan Allen tour boat on Lake George, NY, which also killed 20 people. They were in the limousine.
Axel Steenburg, left, and his brother Rich Steenburg, right, were both killed, according to their stepfather, Lester Andrews. Axel Steenburg's wife, Amy, also died in the crash, he said. "I commend the NTSB's immediate aid on scene and am very hopeful that we will have concrete answers soon", Schumer said. It is not known how many people were injured and survived the crash.
"Their mother is looking for some answers, he said. You know that sound when it happens".
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"They had everything going for them".
Schoharie Town Supervisor Alan Tavenner said Saturday that these efforts may well have been for naught, with the intersection still being highly risky, as exhibited by the weekend's tragedy.
State police confirmed Sunday that the death toll was 20 and said the crash involved two vehicles.
Local media outlets describe the intersection where it happened as notorious for accidents. "I honestly think it was a more risky intersection than it was before", he said.
The crash occurred just before 2pm on Saturday afternoon (local time) in Schoharie, about 60km west of Albany, on Route 30.
Ms. Kirby also said the intersection was unsafe. Authorities are still notifying victims' families about the accident.
It is unclear what caused the crash, but the National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to investigate.