Limo Operator Charged After Fatal Crash That Killed 20

The operator of the limo company responsible for the Ford Excursion that crashed and killed 20 people earlier this week has been charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Nauman Hussain, 28, was arrested by police yesterday. He has since been released on bail after posting the required $150,000 and was forced to hand over his U.S. passport. The judge has entered a not guilty plea on his behalf, CBS Local reports.

New York State Police Superintendent George Beach claims that Hussain is solely responsible for the limousine being on the streets despite failing safety inspections.

“Hussain, the operator of Prestige Limo in Saratoga County, was issued written violations by the New York State Police and the New York State Department of Transportation that the driver he hired should not have been operating the type of vehicle involved in Saturday’s crash.

“Also, that vehicle was placed out of service by the Department of Transportation in September of this year and should not have been on the road,” Beach said.

This was the deadliest U.S. transport accident in almost a decade.

Nauman Hussain’s father, Shahed Hussain, is the owner of Prestige Limousine but was in Pakistan at the time of the fatal crash.

The felony complaint against Nauman Hussain asserts that he hired driver Scott Lisinicchia despite knowing that he didn’t have the correct license to operate such a vehicle. Additionally, it is claim that Hussain knew or should have known about issues with the vehicle which would have affected the brakes.

Prestige Limousine’s lawyer, Lee Kindlon, claims that the safety violations issued last month on the customized excursion were minor and hadn’t caused the crash.

The vehicle sped through a stop sign at a highway intersection in Schohaire, crashing into an unoccupied parked vehicle and striking two pedestrians. All 17 passengers of the limousine, the driver, and the two pedestrians were killed.

Prestige Limousine attempted to sell the Ford Excursion on Craigslist just two days before the fatal crash for $9000.

 

  • TheBelltower

    I get why he should be questioned. But the crash had more to do with the driver going 60mph in a 30mph zone, then driving off the end of the road. Unless the brakes failed and the throttle was stuck open, this was the driver’s fault.

    • Mr. EP9

      Yes, you’re right about the driver being at fault. The thing is though, the company allowed an unsafe vehicle that failed a state inspection to go out on the road and they used a driver who wasn’t properly licensed to begin with so they also share the blame.

      • TheBelltower

        True. He should be responsible for the condition of the vehicle and having the proper licenses. Though I would have a very hard time saying he is responsible for the deaths of 20 people if the condition of the beater vehicle wasn’t the direct cause of the accident.

        • diesel_vdub

          That’s exactly why they are charging him with criminally negligent homicide and not manslaughter or murder. He was criminally negligent by not ensuring the vehicle was safe, it did no meet requirements to be on the road, and the driver was not properly licensed to operate the vehicle.

    • db

      the crash had more to do with the driver going 60mph in a 30mph zone, then driving off the end of the road.
      ————
      Do you know that for sure? I haven’t come across anywhere that suggests that if the driver “failed to stop” on his own or if there was a mechanical failure which is suggested in this article.

      Despite if the driver was at fault or not, it always falls back onto the shoulders of owner who ultimately has the final decision if the vehicle and employees are fit to serve the public.

      • TheBelltower

        If it was mechanical failure, then that’s something entirely different. And I’ll agree that the limo owner is liable for it all. But the speed limit, from what I read, was 30. This does not appear to be a 30mph collision.

        • db

          That is a valid point. Obviously when there is this much fatality in such a large vehicle, speed must have factored in there somewhere.
          I’m just trying to keep an open mind to the possibility that there was a mechanical malfunction. Who knows what is possible from a jammed accelerator to a brake malfunction from the top of the hill enhancing the vehicle’s speed.

          Either way, certainly the investigators will get to the bottom of it all through the vehicle’s “little black box”.

          • Rob

            The limo was deemed not road worthy by NYS DOT last month. So knowing this, the owner/son of the owner should be arrested since he knew the condition of the limo.

  • pcurve

    Man that lawyer must be hurting for cash. Fine to defend your client but be more tactful…

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