Four ‘tight-knit’ sisters among 20 dead in limousine that crashed on way to surprise birthday celebration

Four tight-knit sisters were among 20 dead in a weekend limousine crash in upstate New York that’s been called one of the deadliest ground-traffic crashes in the U.S. in the past decade.

New York Post reports that sisters Mary Dyson (3rd from left, back row), Allison King (second from left, back row), Abigail Jackson (front left), and Amy Steenburg (front right) were in a limousine reportedly headed to wineries when the vehicle lost control on Saturday afternoon, after driving through a stop sign in Schoharie, around 35 miles west of Albany, New York. The out-of-control limousine was carrying 18 people when it crashed into a cafe parking lot, hitting another vehicle and killing two bystanders.

“One just got married, and that’s what this was — her new husband was giving her a surprise birthday party,” Barbara Douglas, the sisters’ aunt said.

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The sisters’ brother, Tom King, 35, said the siblings were “very tight” and like “the Four Musketeers.”

“We all are what’s left. There was seven of us — five sisters and two brothers,” King said.

Other family members stated the group hadn’t planned to get in the limousine, but when a bus they had planned to take broke down, the rental company replaced it with a 2001 Ford Excursion limo.

Barbara Douglas of Danamora, N.Y., reacts while talking about her four family members who died in Saturday’s fatal crash in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. A limousine loaded with revelers headed to a 30th birthday party blew a stop sign at the end of a highway and slammed into an SUV parked outside a store, killing all people in the limo and a few pedestrians, officials and relatives of the victims said Sunday. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

It’s still unclear whether the driver intentionally sped through the stop sign or if the vehicle malfunctioned. Authorities are investigating the incident.

“There were witnesses on the scene, but just from the evidence discovered at the crash, it was apparent that this was the direction of travel and what happened,” New York State Police First Deputy Superintendent Christopher Fiore said during a Saturday news conference, according to the Washington Post.

READ More: Newlyweds among those killed when limo crash leaves 20 dead in upstate New York: Family

Douglas, who said all four sisters were “wonderful,” indicated everyone in the limousine were doing the “responsible thing” by taking a limo instead of driving.

“They were wonderful girls. They’d do anything for you and they were very close to each other and they loved their family.”

The story continues to develop. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Allison King, Abby Jackson, Amy Steenburg, Mary Dyson/Facebook]

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