Limo driver in N.Y. crash previously had concerns about vehicles, wife says
The wife of the limousine driver who died in the crash that killed 19 other people in upstate New York says he previously had some concerns about the safety of the vehicles he was driving.
Scott Lisinicchia was driving the limousine that ran through a stop sign Saturday at the bottom of a T-intersection on a rural road in Schoharie, 40 kilometres west of Albany. The crash killed two pedestrians and all 18 people in the limo, who were celebrating a woman’s birthday.
Kim Lisinicchia told CBS that her husband had mentioned a few times that he needed a different vehicle,
She also said the company, Prestige Limousine, told Lisinicchia that the “cars were all right.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters Monday that an inspection of the limo turned up several violations and that the limo wasn’t properly licenced.
Cuomo also said the driver didn’t have the appropriate license and the stretch limo had been rebuilt in a way that violated federal law.
Lisinicchia’s twin brother, Keith, said he was an experienced and conscientious driver who was properly licensed, amid concerns about the limo company, Prestige Limousine.
Prestige Limousine has been criticized for maintaining vehicles rife with violations and for employing a driver lacking a commercial license.
Prestige’s lawyer, Lee Kindlon, has said that safety issues were corrected. He said the driver might have misjudged his ability to stop at the bottom of a hill.
WATCH: Limo driver wasn’t licensed; vehicle didn’t pass inspection
Kim Lisinicchia said her husband was an excellent driver and in excellent health.
“I don’t know what that’s about,” she said about the questions regarding her husband’s liscencing. “Even if he didn’t have the proper license, this still would’ve happened and I feel like he still would have got blamed.”
Kim Lisinicchia said she felt like she has to speak up for her husband in the wake of the allegations.
“I feel for these victims,” she said. “I am in no way trying to make it seem like it’s about me or my husband. I just want my husband to be vindicated. I have to stand for him, ’cause nobody else will.”
“It has been so difficult because I think about him every day,” she told CBS.
State Department of Transportation spokesman Joseph Morrissey said a sticker was placed on the vehicle after the September inspection declaring it “unserviceable.” He said Kindlon’s assertion that the code violations had been corrected and the vehicle cleared for service was “categorically false.”
Even if the repairs were made, the limo would have needed to be re-inspected and the owner would need approval again to transport passengers, a state transportation department spokesman said.
— With files from the Associated Press
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