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Breaking: limousine horrific crash leaves 20 dead in New York
The vehicle failed to stop at an intersection before crashing into a parked car and hitting two pedestrians outside a store.
Twenty people have died after a limousine on its way to a birthday party crashed into a parked car in upstate New York.
The Ford Excursion struck an unoccupied sport-utility vehicle after failing to stop at an intersection in Schoharie on Saturday.
State police have confirmed 18 of the victims were inside the limousine, while the other two were pedestrians standing in the car park of the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe.
The crash happened shortly before 2pm in the town 170 miles north of New York City.
Jessica Kirby, the store’s manager, told the New York Times: “That limo was coming down that hill probably over 60mph.
“I don’t want to describe the scene. It’s not something I want to think about.”
US media had earlier reported that the vehicle was on its way to a wedding, but an aunt of one of the victims has said it was in fact heading to a birthday party.
Valerie Abeling says her niece Erin Vertucci was among the victims with her newlywed husband Shane McGowan.
She said her own daughter had been invited along but couldn’t go.
Ms Abeling said: “She was a beautiful, sweet soul; he was too.”
Two of the victims have been named in US media as Adam and Abby Jackson, who are survived by their four-year-old son Archer and 16-month-old daughter Elle.
Bridey Finnagen, who lives near the scene of the crash, told ABC News: “I heard a loud bang (and) I came out my front door to see what was going on.
“I saw a lot of people here at the Apple Barrel out in the parking lot. Then I heard screaming.
“Then I saw this large van, a very unusual looking vehicle out here in Schoharie in the bushes and really wrecked, hit a tree.”
Mr Finnagen added: “The first responders broke some windows to try to get people out.
“I believe the jaws of life were here on the side of one of the fire trucks.”