Court records show that the Shahed Hussain who owns that motel gained fame in the years after the 11 September 2001, terrorist attacks for infiltrating certain Muslim fundamentalist groups on behalf of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Federal motor carrier safety records indicate the company had a spotty record: Of five inspections over two years, four resulted in vehicles being taken out of service.
In a press conference earlier today, he said "The owner of the company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road".
Cuomo said officials are working on "a cease-and-desist order to stop Prestige Limousine from operating until the investigation is concluded". "Prestige has a lot of questions to answer". They say they have also met with state and federal investigators.
These kinds of limos have anxious safety experts for years: regular SUVs that have been jacked up, stretched out and converted into limousines.
"When we look at limousines and stretch limos, we see a really Frankenstein system of cars that potentially are cut up and put back together with parts and pieces that were not original to them", says Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the nonprofit National Safety Council and former chair of the NTSB.
"It's tragic. terrible. I can't even begin to even explain", Valerie Abeling told The Washington Post, confirming that her 34-year-old niece, Erin McGowan, and her new husband, Shane McGowan, 30, were among the dead.
But officials already saw some red flags, Cuomo said: The driver didn't have the necessary commercial license, and the vehicle failed a state inspection that examined such things as the chassis, suspension and brakes.
Over 1,000 people jammed a riverside park in Amsterdam, New York, for Monday night's vigil as victims' relatives tried to come to grips with the tragedy that happened as a group of friends and family were on their way to a 30th birthday party.
She and her husband Adam left behind two daughters: 4-year-old Archer and 16-month-old Elle.
The couple was married in June at a "beautiful wedding" in upstate New York, Abeling said.
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The 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was travelling south-west on State Route 30.
Prestige Limousine expressed condolences to relatives of Saturday's crash in Schoharie (skoh-HAYR'-ee).
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. The Highlander then hit and killed two pedestrians. All 17 passengers, the driver, and two bystanders, who had been standing nearby, were killed in the crash.
"You have 20 fatalities".
The National Transportation Safety Board is inspecting the crash, which is the deadliest transportation disaster since a 2009 plane crash near Buffalo, N.Y., that killed 50 people.
He said the aim of the investigation was to determine how to prevent such a devastating crash from ever occurring again, and did not rule out that the probe could shed broader insights on the safety of passenger limousines themselves. "I want to assure every single one of you that this board will do everything on behalf of the children, the students, the staff and the administration to help the families get through this very bad, terrible tragedy", Bush said. "Our lives have been changed forever".
Rob, who was Mary Dyson's husband, was one of the victims as well, according to NBC News.
"They were the Four Musketeers", he said, outside their parents home in Amsterdam, New York.
"This may be a small city, but we are a huge city with a huge heart and just like the sign says, we are 'Amsterdam Strong.' Right now it's hard to bear what we have to bear, but we will get through it".
"She was a handsome, sweet soul; he was, too, they were very sweet", Abeling said.