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Grief counseling and vigil following deadly New York limousine crash

Posted: Updated:

 SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (AP) - 

1:20 p.m.     

The sister of a woman killed in a limousine crash in upstate New York says her heart is "sunken" and she's in a "place where I've never felt this type of pain before."     

Karina Halse visited the crash site Monday in Schoharie and talked about her 26-year-old sister, Amanda Halse, who she said was in the limo with her boyfriend, Patrick Cushing.

Halse said her sister was a waitress at Shaker Point in Watervliet, and that she and Patrick "were two peas in a pod."     

The sisters were texting Saturday as Amanda Halse got into the limo, bound for a birthday party. But before Amanda Halse received her sister's reply, she died in the crash. Two pedestrians and 18 occupants of the limousine all died, including four sisters.      

12:40 p.m.  

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a limousine involved in a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York had failed a state inspection and should not have been on the road.

He said Monday in Manhattan the vehicle had been inspected by the state's transportation department just last month.     

Cuomo also said the driver didn't have the appropriate license and the stretch limo had been rebuilt in a way that violated federal law.  

He said the company, Prestige Limousine, "has a lot to answer for."     

Calls to the limousine company rang unanswered Monday.     

The crash Saturday in the town of Schoharie killed two pedestrians and 18 occupants of a limousine, including four sisters. Relatives said the group was headed to a birthday party.    

 12:15 p.m.  

 The manager of a store in upstate New York says the nearby intersection where a limo crashed, killing 20 people over the weekend, has long been dangerous.     

Jessica Kirby is managing director of the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe in Schoharie New York.  

She says that three tractor-trailers have blown through the same stop sign in the past.     

Relatives say the limousine was carrying four sisters, relatives and friends to a 30th birthday celebration when it crashed Saturday, killing all 18 in the limo and two pedestrians.     

Kirby says of the accidents, "we have been asking for something to be done for years."

11:45 a.m.  

One of the 20 people killed in a limo crash in upstate New York worked in the technology office of the state Senate.     

Senate Leader John Flanagan on Monday called Patrick Cushing an "extraordinary" employee and "wonderful young man."     

Saturday's crash in the town of Schoharie killed 18 occupants of the limousine and two pedestrians.     

Suzanne Douglass said her nephew, Matthew Coons, of Johnstown, also died in the crash.     

She says he had "a golden heart" and "made you laugh so hard until you cried."     

Relatives said the group was in the limo for a birthday celebration.     

A memorial gathering was planned for Monday evening in Amsterdam, New York, where some of the victims lived.     

The group included four sisters and two brothers.

  9 a.m.     

Grief counseling and a vigil will be held following a devastating accident that killed 20 people in upstate New York.     

The crash on Saturday in the town of Schoharie killed two pedestrians and 18 occupants of a limousine, including four sisters.     

Relateives said the group of young adults was headed to a birthday party. Some lived in nearby Amsterdam, New York, and grew up together. Two of the couples were newlyweds.     

The Amsterdam school district is offering grief counseling Monday. One of the victims, Abby Jackson, was a teacher there.     

She and her husband Adam left behind two daughters: 4-year-old Archer and 16-month-old Elle.     

Democratic State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara says the vigil will be held on Monday evening in Amsterdam.   

 


 

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