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Limo company in fatal New York crash claims safety violations are not to blame for tragedy that killed 20 people, despite alarming safety record

The limousine rental company that provided the SUV limo involved in Saturday’s deadly crash in upstate New York denied that safety violations contributed to the wreck.

CBS News reports that Prestige Limousine has had 22 safety violations in the last 22 months, and that the National Transportation Safety Board is looking into the process that the vehicle had reportedly been “stretched” from a regular SUV to an SUV limo.

“That company and that vehicle have been under scrutiny at the DOT (Department of Transportation) in the past,” state police Major Robert Patnaude told the news station.

But an attorney for the company insists that the violations were minor and that he did not believe any safety breach contributed to Saturday’s crash, which killed a total of 20 people.

“Those safety issues had been addressed and corrected,” attorney Lee Kindlon, who represents Prestige Limousine, told the news station.

“Not all infractions are major. A lot of these things are minor and were fixed.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo first told reporters about the company’s questionable safety record at a New York City Columbus Day Parade on Monday. Kidlon appeared on Good Morning America on Tuesday, and responded to the governor’s concerns.

“We understand what the governor is saying, what the DOT is saying, certainly it is in their interests to point away from any failures on behalf of the state,” Kindlon said on the show, according to the New York Post.

“But as we understand right now, the inspections last month were minor things, windshield wipers, a latch on a windshield that needed to be fixed.”

 

[Feature image: AP Photo/Hans Pennink]