Twenty people are dead, following a crash in New York state Sunday night. Investigators are still trying to piece together what happened. New York’s governor says the limousine involved, recently failed a safety inspections. He says it shouldn’t have been on the road.
Local limousine companies have different rules to follow, depending on the size of their operation. KELOLAND News visited Stellar Limousine to learn more about the steps they take to make sure your fun night doesn’t end in tragedy.
A limo crash that took the lives of 20 people is shocking, even for the chairman of the National Transportation and Safety Board.
“20 fatalities is just horrific,” said NTSB Chairman, Robert Sumwalt.
The night was meant to be a celebration. One of four sisters was celebrating her 30th birthday with loved ones.
Investigators are still trying to figure out why the limo blew through a stop sign and crashed into a ravine in upstate New York.
“They did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn’t have to drive anywhere,” said Barbara Douglas, aunt of 4 of the victims.
Local limousine companies are required by law to take certain safety precautions, but they do vary depending on the size of the operation.
Larger businesses, like Stellar Limousine, have to pass regular checks and meet federal guidelines.
Not only do the drivers make sure there are clean glasses and napkins in the vehicles, they also have a safety inspection sheet that they go through regularly.
“The drivers go through every vehicle before every trip and make sure that all of the tires and steering and brakes and things are operating properly at the time they leave the warehouse,” said Tom Olson, Owner of Stellar Limousine.
Traditionally limos don’t have seatbelts, or even windows that roll down.
That’s all starting to change with the times.
“It’s coming along now, and not so much in South Dakota but mandatory in other states that they have emergency roof hatches. They have emergency window exits on the sides of even the stretch limos,” said Olson.
Changes that could have changed the outcome of a tragic Sunday night on the east coast.