In October of 2018, a group of family and friends rented a 2001 Ford Excursion from the upstate New York limousine company Prestige Limousine.
The group was on their way to a surprise birthday party. They had chosen to take the limo there and back to ensure that they had a safe way to get home after the party. On the way to the party, the limo driver careened through an intersection and crashed into an SUV parked in a restaurant parking lot. All 18 people in the limo lost their lives. Two bystanders in the parking lot were struck and fatally wounded.
The worst accident in nearly 10 years
This particular limo crash was the worst recorded accident since February 2009, nearly ten years ago. The Ford Excursion involved in the accident had failed an inspection just a month before this accident, and it wasn’t the only Prestige vehicle to do so. What is more, the driver hired to escort this group did not have a proper chauffeur’s driving license.
In light of this horrific accident, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling for stricter regulations of stretch limos and party vehicles. “Stretch limos exist in a gray area. They’re not a car. They’re not a bus. And that’s the problem,” Schumer said. “They fall through the regulatory cracks and there are no safety standards for them. That has to change.”
Prestige Limousine has been ordered to cease operations for the duration of the investigation.
A call for better regulations
This accident is a horrific example of why it is so important to ensure that every driver is properly trained and licensed, and that every vehicle is properly maintained and regularly inspected. If those two requirements had been met, the 20 victims might still be alive today.
Limousine accidents don’t happen very often, but they can be devastating when they do. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 12 fatalities in the United States involving limo crashes from 2012 to 2016.
It is our job to hold negligent companies responsible for their actions. The car accident attorneys at Boughter Sinak, LLC fight for those whose lives have been altered by an accident. If you or a loved one was injured, contact us today.