More than 650 mourners attended the Saturday funeral for eight people, including four sisters, who were killed in a limousine crash in Schoharie, New York, that took 20 lives Oct. 6.
“The question that is in the hearts of so many is: Why?” Rev. O. Robert DeMaritnis said at the funeral according to The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. “Why did these 20 individuals have to be taken from us so quickly and so unexpectedly?”
Hundreds gathered at St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church in Amsterdam, New York, for Friday’s wake and Saturday’s funeral. DeMaritnis delivered an “emotional homily” Saturday commemorating the victims including Amy and Axel Steenburg, reported The New York Post. DeMaritnis had officiated their wedding in June.
The funeral was for Allison King, 31; sister Abigail Jackson, 34, and her husband Adam Jackson, 34; sister Mary Dyson, 33, and her husband Robert Dyson, 34; sister Amy Steenburg, 29, and her husband Axel Steenburg, 29, and his brother Richard Steenburg, 34, reported ABC News.
The limo carrying the victims crashed after failing “a Sept. 4 safety inspection in part due to an Anti-lock breaking system (ABS) malfunction indicators for the hydraulic brake system,” reported ABC News.
The operator of the limo company, 28-year-old Nauman Hussain, was charged with criminally negligent homicide Wednesday, reported CBS New York. Nauman Hussain’s father Shahed Hussain owns the company, Prestige Limousine, and is believed to be in Pakistan. (RELATED: Owner Of Limo That Crashed And Killed Twenty May Have Helped FBI Foil A Terror Plot)
Nauman Hussain was released on bail after his Thursday arraignment, reported The Albany Times Union.
The 17 passengers were a group of friends gathering to celebrate the 30th birthday of Amy Steenburg, who had married husband Axel Steenburg in the summer of 2018. They were headed to a brewery in Cooperstown, New York, and rented the limo so that nobody would drink and drive.
The limo driver, Scott Lisnicchia, also died in the crash along with two bystanders.
Lisnicchia did not have the required commercial driver’s license with a passenger endorsement. (RELATED: Son Of Prestige Limo Owner Arrested After Crash That Killed Twenty In New York)
“The owner of the company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road,” Cuomo said Oct. 8.
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