NEW YORK: Police arrested on Wednesday, the son of the limousine owner that crashed and killed 20 people in upstate New York on October 6.
Nauman Hussain, 28, son of a Pakistani immigrant was charged with criminally negligent homicide.
Owned by his father Shahid Hussain, Nauman, manages the day-to-day operations of the company Prestige Limousines.
According to state police, Hussain was taken into custody and charged with the class E felony.
“More counts could be added but the one charge at this point accounts for all 20 deaths,” authorities added.
Punishable by up to four years in prison. Hussain pleaded not guilty and was arraigned in Cobleskill Town Court, about 10 miles from the crash site.
He was released on $150,000 bail.
Speaking to the media on Monday, NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “The owner of the company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road.”
“The driver of the vehicle, the quote-unquote limousine, did not have the appropriate driver’s license to be operating that vehicle,” Cuomo added.
Scott Lisinicchia,53 — who was behind the wheel of the 2011 Ford Excursion before the crash — was cited for operating the same limo without a proper license by a state trooper in August.
“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 said.
Besides the problems with its chassis and brakes, Cuomo said, the 2001 Ford Excursion lacked the certification it needed after it was chopped and extended into a limo.
Further, official records showed Prestige Limousines, the company that owns the limo, had been cited for 22 violations in the last 24 months.
Twenty people were killed, including the driver and two pedestrians after the limousine careened out of control on Saturday afternoon in the crash has been described as the most deadly transportation accident in the United States for nearly a decade.
The victims were friends and relatives — including four sisters from one family, and two brothers from another — who were travelling to a brewery in Cooperstown, NY to celebrate a birthday.