Many awaiting answers as lengthy investigation continues into Schoharie crash

Local

It’s been nearly two weeks since the deadly limousine crash in Schoharie.

Many are asking for more answers but New York State Police are still deep into its criminal investigation while the NTSB stands in the wings.

Every investigation is different and State Police tell me there are reasons some of them take more time than others.

Although they couldn’t talk to me specifically about the tragic accident, as it is an open investigation, they were able to give some insight into the process.

State Police say they’ve been working hand-in-hand with the NTSB since the tragic limousine accident in Schoharie.

Police say there are certain things they need to do before the release certain evidence to any outside agency they may be assisting.

“Everything is done in a methodical fashion to make sure a case is either criminal or not criminal and if it’s criminal sometimes investigative leads take us to another step,” Richard O’Brien, BCI Captain with NYSP Troop G, said.

O’Brien says it’s important for them to gather any evidence they may need in a criminal investigation to present to the district attorney.

“It is crucial to every criminal investigation that we do all of those things. We do not get a second opportunity to get a case right or make a correction.”

Evidence, like the limousine, is especially important when witnesses may be unavailable.

“We have to then assemble a case that becomes a voice for those individuals.”

In fact, State Police say the vehicle is the most important piece of evidence in this case.

They also say if the NTSB were allowed to handle the limousine before the criminal investigation is finished, it could jeopardize any potential charges.

O’Brien says once they hand any evidence over to any other agency, it’s out of their control.

“It’s usually not our evidence any longer or it’s not relevant to our investigation.”

He says the team at Troop G is working hard on several outstanding cases and hopes the public will be patient as they continue their due diligence.

“I can assure the public that the 85 members of this troop who are plainclothes investigators are working around in the clock in many cases.”

The NTSB says they have had an investigator look at the vehicle and they have been cooperating with State Police.

They expect a preliminary report on the accident to be released in the next few weeks.

The Schoharie County District Attorney is still actively pursuing criminal charges connected to the crash.

State Police say after they’ve finished their investigation, the defense attorney in the case will have a chance to look at the limo as well.

A tentative schedule to make that happen is expected to be released within the next two weeks.

After all of that, the limo will be turned over to the NTSB.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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