NEW YORK: The Pakistan-origin manager of a limousine company was found guilty Wednesday of second-degree manslaughter for the deaths of 20 people in a 2018 accident involving one of his vehicles in New York state.
It marked one of the deadliest US traffic accidents in the past two decades. All 17 passengers in the stretch limousine were killed as well as the driver and two people in a parking lot who were struck by the speeding vehicle.
The limousine had failed a vehicle inspection, and the driver apparently ran a stop sign moments before the crash in Schoharie County, near the state capital Albany.
Among the passengers were four sisters, one of whom was celebrating her birthday.
As the verdict was read against Nauman Hussain, son of the owner of Prestige Limousine, which operated the vehicle, some relatives of the victims screamed while others broke into tears.
An investigation showed that the limousine had failed its inspection, and that the driver was not licensed to operate the vehicle.
Hussain faces up to 15 years in prison for the 20 counts of second-degree manslaughter. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 31.
After the verdict, his lawyer Lee Kindlon said he was “heartbroken for everybody involved” in the 2018 tragedy.
Hussain was taken into custody after the hearing.
Seeing Hussain taken away in handcuffs “gave me some kind of justice,” Sam Bursese, father of one of the victims, told reporters outside the courthouse.