The owner of the limousine company that provided the SUV stretch limo involved in a deadly crash over the weekend in upstate New York was warned not to operate the vehicle involved, a spokesperson for the state’s Department of Transportation told ABC News.
“The assertion that the limousine was cleared to be on the road following the September inspection is categorically false,” a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Transportation told the media outlet. “The vehicle was subject to inspections and the owner was warned not to operate the vehicle; the vehicle was placed out of service.”
In stark contrast to the spokesperson’s statement, the limo company’s lawyer, Lee Kindlon, told the Times Union of Albany that he believes the driver’s unawareness and the danger of the road he was traveling on is to blame.
“I think he came up over that hill unfamiliar with territory. You just can’t stop something like that,” Kindlon said. “I think the state has been warned about that intersection for years and the Department of Transportation is just looking to point a finger.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, the company, Prestige Limousine, has a record of safety violations. The vehicle failed an inspection a mere month before the tragedy that killed 20 people.
Kindlon argued that the infractions involved in the inspection were minor, and not a factor in the horrific crash.
“Those safety issues had been addressed and corrected,” Kindlon told CBS News.
“Not all infractions are major. A lot of these things are minor and were fixed.”
Prestige Limousine said in a statement Monday that they agreed to take their vehicles off of the road following the devastating wreck.
“Prestige Limousine extends its deepest condolences to the family members and friends of those who tragically lost their lives on Saturday,” the statement said. “We are performing a detailed internal investigation to determine the cause of the accident and the steps we can take in order to prevent future accidents.”
[Feature image: Tom Heffernan Sr. via AP]