Scott Lisinicchia was reportedly lacking the proper license when he got behind the wheel of a limo in Upstate New York, losing control and leading to a crash that killed 20 people.
The 53-year-old Lisinicchia was identified this week as the driver of the 2001 Ford Excursion limo, CBS News reported, and authorities are still trying to put together all of the details from the crash. Police said the limo sped through a dangerous intersection in the town of Schoharie near Albany, crashing into the parking lot of popular tourist destination Apple Barrel Country.
Though police had not yet released Lisinicchia’s name, the man’s twin brother also identified him as the limo driver, WTVH reported.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave an update on the deadly crash, saying on Monday that the limo had failed a safety inspection just days before the accident.
“The driver of the vehicle, the quote-unquote limousine, did not have the appropriate license to be operating that vehicle. Second, that vehicle was inspected by the New York State Department of Transportation last month and failed inspection and was not supposed to be on the road,” Cuomo told reporters (via the New York Post).
As CNN reported, the limo was packed with 17 birthday guests who were headed to an Upstate New York brewery, a group that included four sisters and a newlywed couple. The company that operated the limo, Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service, was listed as having two drivers and three vehicles, and also a history of problems. The company had four vehicles taken out of service in the last five years, the report noted. Cuomo said on Monday that state officials are working on a cease and desist order to prevent the company from operating vehicles while an investigation is taking place.
The crash was reportedly so violent that it shocked even veteran traffic safety officials.
“Twenty fatalities, it’s just horrific,” NTSB board chairman Robert Sumwalt told CNN. “I’ve been on the board for 12 years and this is one of the biggest losses of life… This is the most deadly transportation accident in this country since February of 2009.”
Officials are still trying to determine whether the crash was caused by driver error or some kind of vehicle malfunction. The stretch of road where it took place is known for being dangerous, with the road going down a steep curve. It was not clear if Scott Lisinicchia would face charges for the fatal limo crash.