20 dead after crash involving wedding limo in NY

The cause of the collision in () remains unclear

The cause of the collision in () remains unclear

The New York intersection where a limousine crashed, killing 18 people headed to a birthday party, is notoriously known as a unsafe intersection that officials have attempted to fix without success, a nearby store owner and officials said.

One of the victims killed in a horrific upstate New York's deadly limousine crash on Saturday allegedly texted her cousin to say the vehicle was in "terrible condition", prior to the accident that left 20 people dead. The National Transportation Safety Board is calling it the deadliest USA crash in almost a decade. "It looked serious because people were running back and forth", Bridey Finegan of Schoharie told WNYT NewsChannel 13.

She said her own daughter had been invited along but couldn't go. "They'd do anything for you, and they were very close to each other".

According to witnesses, the white SUV-style limo failed to halt at a stop sign, and was travelling at around 60mph (95km/h) when it flew through an intersection, hit an empty vehicle outside the Apple Barrel Country Store & Cafe, and then hurtled across a drainage ditch.

A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board said a team would be on the ground Sunday afternoon.

NTSB Chair Robert Sumwalt appeared alongside officials Sunday afternoon, saying the crash is one of the worst incidents he's seen in his 12 years on the NTSB board.

It was the deadliest transportation accident in the United States since a 2009 plane crash in Buffalo, New York, that killed 49 people, Sumwalt said.

"I can tell you that wearing seat belts does save lives".

The names of the victims have not been released because next of kin were being notified, the New York State Police said in a statement. Autopsies were being conducted.

Valerie Abeling has said her niece Erin Vertucci was among the victims with her newlywed husband Shane McGowan.

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"They were together multiple times a week always hanging out", she said, noting that they threw many backyard parties.

The crash happened in Schoharie in upstate NY on Saturday shortly before 2pm.

"When we went to pick up the dog, all the people that they were with had all their cars parked in front of their house", Mr. Andrews said.

Ms Vertucci, who grew up in Amsterdam, New York, was an administrative assistant at St Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam, Ms Abeling said.

New York State Police announced the number of fatalities Sunday morning.

Barbara Douglas, the aunt of the sisters, said the victims were smart, attractive and lived life to the fullest.

The Columbus Day weekend is the busiest of the year for the store, Kirby told the paper, noting that it was full of customers from New York City, New Jersey and Albany at the time of the crash.

"She was just such a pretty girl", Semprivivo said of his stepdaughter before hanging up.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was briefed and issued the following statement: "I join all New Yorkers in mourning these deaths and share unspeakable sorrow experienced by their families and love ones during this extremely hard time".

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