A limousine might seem like a luxurious ride, but a recent fatal accident in upstate New York raises questions about just how safe limousines are on the road.
In October, a limo crashed in Schoharie, N.Y., resulting in 20 deaths. Investigators say the large vehicle, a 2001 Ford Excursion limo, was headed down a rural highway and failed to stop for a stop sign. It slammed into an unoccupied vehicle, killing 17 friends in the limo on their way to a birthday party. The driver, along with two pedestrians, also died in the crash. Residents of the small town said the intersection where the accident occurred was notoriously dangerous, according to a New York Times article regarding the crash.
The auto accident became the worst transportation-related crash in the United States since a 2009 plane crash. According to an investigation, there were three main factors that caused the accident:
- The driver had an improper license.
- The company that owned the limousine failed inspections.
- The vehicle itself was found to be unsafe.
Are limos safe?
Statistically speaking, limo accidents are rare compared to crashes involving all types of vehicles. NBC News, citing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, reports there were 12 crashes involving large limos over the last five years. Here are other key facts about limo accidents:
- 12 people died in accidents involving limos between 2012 and 2016.
- Four people died in a limousine crash carrying a bridal party on Long Island, New York, in 2015.
- 171,508 people died in 157,451 crashes involving all vehicles.
According to the New York Times, the limo in upstate New York should not have been on the road because it failed inspection the month before the accident. A victim of the crash even sent a text message during the ride saying she was worried about the condition of the vehicle.
What's more, investigators suggested prior problems involving the company that owned the limo. Other vehicles belonging to the company had failed inspection, according to the Times. State Police had seized three vehicles belonging to the company as part of an investigation.
An investigation was looking into mechanical and human factors in the accident. According to the Times, police said the company that owned the limo had been "under scrutiny." The owner of the company also may face criminal charges.
How an attorney can help after a limo accident
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a limo accident, contact an experienced attorney. You will need an advocate on your side who can conduct a thorough investigation to ensure the responsible parties are held accountable. Take your accident seriously right from the start. Contact the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone.