Schoharie limo crash plea deal leaves another dark day for family members

Schoharie County

SCHOHARIE COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Family and loved ones of those killed in the Schoharie limo crash have been waiting for justice. But news of no jail time for Nauman Hussain is not what they wanted, and their heartache continues.

It was an extremely emotional day inside of the courtroom. A lot of tears were shed, including some by the defendant himself. Many families say justice was not served.  

“It was a lot of failure on part of the state. We’re all mad. We’re all so mad.”  

For more than two hours, 16 different impact statements were given from family members who lost loved ones nearly three years ago.

Jill Richardson Perez, who lost her son Matthew Coons in the accident, says their lives are forever changed and there’s a hole in their hearts. 

“It’s very hard we miss Matthew, and we miss all of them. They were incredible kids with such a future, and it’s shame the law is the law,” said Richardson Perez.

The families say they want the defendant, Hussain, to know that the pain and grief isn’t eased.

Hussain was seen wiping his tears as the families gave their final statements. They believe he should have been given prison time.

“There’s not enough justice for our children, and our children deserve more than. We lost spouses. One family lost four children. One woman lost her only child, and many little children no longer have parents,” said Richardson Perez. 

“These people’s losses are so immense, and the punishment does not seem to fit the crime,” said Attorney Cynthia LaFave from LaFave Wein & Frament.

Some families are hopeful things will change, even if it’s not inside the courtroom.

“I think you’re going to see this group of families fighting for new laws now. We have done a lot with limo reform and now you’re going to see us probably change some things,” said Richardson Perez.

The judge in the courtroom on Thursday says he understands everyone wants to see justice, and aside from being a judge, he’s also a human.

The next step for Hussain is that many families have filed civil cases against him and the limo company. The judge noted that Hussain’s guilty plea could be used in any lawsuits.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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