Eyewitnesses described seeing an SUV-style stretch limousine leave the road and plough into a crowd of pedestrians at the Apple Barrel Country Store near a busy intersection on routes 30 and 30A. A number of people entering and leaving the store were hit. The cause of the crash is unclear. State police said the crash involved two vehicles.
The large vehicle that appeared to have finally crashed into a tree. 18 of the victims in the crash at the Apple Barrel Country Store were in the limo and two were bystanders. Broken tree branches were everywhere. Separate police units including a “facial identification unit” and a drone team were involved in the investigation. Authorities didn’t release names of victims or other specifics. A phone line has been set up to help assist relatives of the victims. “My heart breaks for the 20 people who lost their lives in this horrific accident,” the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. The disaster is one of the most fatal car accidents in recent memory in area and the worst transportation disaster to hit the Capital Region since the 2005. Limousines built in factories are already required to meet stringent safety regulations, but when cars are converted into limos, safety features are sometimes removed.