UNITED STATES NEWS

Limo company manager sentenced to at least 5 years for New York crash that killed 20

May 31, 2023, 9:59 AM | Updated: 10:28 am

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (AP) — A former limousine company manager was sentenced Wednesday to at least five years in prison for his role in a crash that killed 20 people in rural New York.

Nauman Hussain, 33, was convicted of manslaughter earlier this month after prosecutors argued that he intentionally failed to properly maintain an SUV-style stretch limo, which then failed to brake on a downhill stretch of road in Schoharie, a village west of Albany.

The 2001 Ford Excursion was packed with friends out for a birthday celebration on Oct. 6, 2018 when it hit a parked car and trees before coming to rest in a streambed.

Judge Peter Lynch sentenced Hussain to an indeterminate term of 5 to 15 years in prison. The state’s parole board will determine when Hussain will be released after he serves the minimum.

Some people who lost loved ones in the crash spoke directly to Hussain in court before the judge announced the sentence.

“October 6, 2018 is the date forever burned into my heart and soul,” said a tearful Bethany King, who lost four members of her family in the crash. “You have received a justified guilty verdict,” King said to Hussain, who was looking down, “while the rest of us here have received a life sentence.”

The limo’s driver, all 17 passengers and two bystanders were killed in the crash, one of the deadliest U.S. road wrecks of the past two decades.

Prosecutors presented evidence at the trial that the limo had been allowed to deteriorate, and that Hussain’s rental company had taken steps to keep it on the road, despite a failed inspection that should have taken it out of service.

Special prosecutor Frederick Rench told reporters outside the Schoharie County Courthouse that the sentence was what he expected.

“Mr Hussain was required by law to comply with certain regulations. He failed to do so although he knew of the regulations and that they applied to him,” Rench said. “He failed to abide by them, he failed to follow them and this crash occurred as a result of that.”

National Transportation Safety Board investigators previously concluded that the rental company also avoided inspection rules for oversized vehicles by filing false information about the SUV’s seating capacity.

“It makes me and my family sick to know that a $2,000 dollar brake repair would have avoided this catastrophe,” said Kevin Cushing, who lost his son Patrick Cushing in the crash. “Nauman, you’re a sorry excuse for a human being.”

The trial came after a judge rejected a plea deal last fall that would have spared Hussain prison time.

“We were angry and we felt we didn’t have a say,” Cushing said of the original plea deal. He said the judge gave families a voice and an opportunity, and that he was “very pleased” with the outcome.

Hussain did not speak during the sentencing.

Hussain’s lawyer, Lee Kindlon, said he plans to file an appeal.

___

Maysoon Khan is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow Maysoon Khan on Twitter.

United States News

Associated Press

Rail bridge collapses during Midwest flooding as a heat wave persists across much of the US

Millions of Americans sweated through a scorching weekend as temperatures soared across the U.S., while residents were rescued from floodwaters that forced evacuations across the Midwest. One person died during flooding in South Dakota, the governor said. From the mid-Atlantic to Maine, across the Great Lakes region, and throughout the West to California, public officials […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

3 Columbia University administrators put on leave over alleged text exchange at antisemitism panel

NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia University said it has placed three administrators on leave while it investigates allegations that they exchanged unprofessional text messages while attending a panel discussion about antisemitism on campus. The university said the administrators work for its undergraduate Columbia College, which hosted the panel discussion “Jewish Life on Campus: Past, Present […]

15 hours ago

Associated Press

Man charged in shooting that critically wounded Philadelphia officer, police say

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 36-year-old Philadelphia man was charged Sunday with attempted murder in connection with a shooting that critically wounded a police officer after a traffic stop, police said. Ramon Rodriguez Vazquez also faces charges that include aggravated assault and home invasion, police said. The 31-year-old officer and his partner stopped a car carrying […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

California boy, 4, who disappeared from campground found safe after 22 hours alone in wilderness

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A 4-year-old California boy who wandered away from a campground in the Sierra National Forest was found safe after spending 22 hours alone in the wilderness, authorities said. A search-and-rescue team of about 50 officers and volunteers set out around 11 a.m. Thursday after the child was reported missing from the […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

One man died and five others were hospitalized in downtown St. Louis shooting

ST. LOUIS (AP) — One man is dead and five others have been wounded in a downtown St. Louis shooting, police said. Police believe women were fighting in a park when men interfered and drew firearms, according to social media posts from the agency. The man who died was in his mid-twenties, police said. Five […]

18 hours ago

Associated Press

Michigan sheriff’s deputy fatally shot pursuing a stolen vehicle in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan county sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot while pursing a suspected stolen vehicle in Detroit, the Oakland County sheriff’s office said Sunday. Bradley J. Reckling, who was on duty in an unmarked car, was following a 2022 Chevy Equinox Saturday evening after the vehicle was reported stolen earlier in the day […]

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Limo company manager sentenced to at least 5 years for New York crash that killed 20