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May 20, 2019

Limo driver’s family blames faulty vehicle for crash that killed 20 in Upstate New York town

October 9, 2018
Family members and friends gather for a candlelight vigil memorial at Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam, N.Y., Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. The memorial honored 20 people who died in Saturday’s fatal limousine crash in Schoharie, N.Y. (Hans Pennink / AP)

The deceased driver in the upstate crash that killed 20 people had no idea the vehicle was unsafe for use, a lawyer for his family said Tuesday.

Scott Lisinicchia, 53, the driver, was unaware the 2001 Ford Excursion that was converted into a limousine recently failed state inspection, according to lawyer George Longworth.

“Scott was a loving and caring man who never would have knowingly put others in harm’s way,” Longworth said in a statement. “The family believes that unbeknownst to him he was provided with a vehicle that was neither roadworthy nor safe for any of its occupants.”

The stretch limo from Prestige Limousine failed an inspection last month due to its unsafe chassis, suspension and brakes, Gov. Cuomo told reporters.

Authorities say that Lisinicchia did not have the required “passenger endorsement” on his commercial driver’s license.

All 17 passengers inside were killed when the limo flew past a stop sign at the bottom of a hill by an Apple Country Store and Café on Route 30 in Schoharie on Saturday. Two bystanders by the restaurant were also killed.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, the deadliest U.S. transportation disaster since 2009.

One victim inside the limo was worried about the condition of the vehicle because it was making so much noise, according to texts obtained by the New York Times.

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