ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–In her report, New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang accepted the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into the 2018 limo crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie.
She agreed that DOT and DMV failed to utilize all legal remedies to bring the limo company Prestige, which was operated by Nauman Hussain, into compliance with laws and regulations.
The state inspector general’s 29 page report found no evidence of misconduct by DOT or DMV employees, but rather gaps in polices, procedures, and interagency communication.
“If I did as many things wrong as the Hussain’s did in their applications for their limousine at DMV, misrepresenting what the vehicle was, misrepresenting the number of passengers, and the follow up or non-follow up of DOT, DMV as a result of that—- I can’t say it’s criminal, but it’s certainly heartbreaking to every family member that knows they had that chance that opportunity to do their job. If they did their job in a way they should have done their job, our kids would be alive today,” said Kevin Cushing.
Kevin Cushing, who lost his son Patrick in the crash, said there were close to a dozen times as to when the limo could and should have been taken off the road.
“There was no excuse for that vehicle to have been on the road and DOT and DMV played a part in letting that vehicle continue to be in service,” said Cushing.
The New York Inspector General recommends :
-DOT train it’s staff on the immobilizing, impounding of, and seizure of license plates from stretch limos not in compliance.
⁃ Ensure registration suspensions for unsafe limos are not restored without proof that problems have been fixed.
– Implement a process to make sure both DOT and DMV are notified of discrepancies.
This report comes after the state’s Limo Safety Task force issued its recommendations earlier this month.
Now that this report has been released, Senator Jim Tedisco is calling for a legislative hearing to to further look into these two state agencies.
“What we need to know now is to know the names of those individuals, their leadership positions or what positions they had who didn’t make the right calls,” said Tedisco.
A spokesperson for the governor said the IG’s report has been reviewed and that they are looking forward working with DOT and DMV to implement the appropriate recommendations.