NEW YORK – A two-vehicle crash involving a limousine carrying a group of people to a party on the weekend resulted in the deaths of 20 people, including two pedestrians, at a highway crossing in Schoharie, in northern New York state.
New York state police and relatives of the victims said on Sunday that the Saturday crash apparently occurred while the limousine was en route to a party when it did not stop at a busy crossroads between state roads 30 and 30A and collided with a vehicle parked near an Apple store in the little town, located 270 kilometers (167 miles) north of New York City and near the city of Albany.
Local authorities said the accident caused the most loss of life for a US incident since a 2009 chain collision in Buffalo, New York, killed 50 people.
The Apple Barrel Country store published a message on Facebook acknowledging the accident.
State police said in a statement that the names of the victims would not be released yet since all the victims’ relatives had not been notified.
Authorities said that all 18 people in the limousine were killed, along with two pedestrians. Witnesses spoke of “chaos” and “screams” in the moments following the crash.
Numerous police units, along Schoharie County Sheriff’s personnel, as well as multiple fire departments and emergency medical units responded to the crash site, according to state police.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement of condolence in the wake of the crash, and he also praised the first responders who came to the scene to help.
An investigation has been mounted to determine the cause of the crash.