October 10, 2018 1:54 pm
Updated: October 10, 2018 2:26 pm

Son of owner of limo company involved in deadly N.Y. crash charged with criminal negligence

People mourn at the site of the fatal limousine crash on October 8, 2018 in Schoharie, New York. 20 people died in the crash including the driver of the limo, 17 passengers, and two pedestrians.

(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
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Police say they have charged a limo service operator with criminally negligent homicide after a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York.

Nauman Hussain was taken into custody following a traffic stop on a highway near Albany, the New York State Police said in a brief news release.

READ MORE: Victims of New York limo crash include 4 sisters, 2 brothers and newlyweds

No further details were released on the charges. A phone call to Hussain’s lawyer was not immediately returned.

Hussain was the day-to-day operator of Prestige Limousine, and the son of the company’s owner.

State police and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash, the nation’s deadliest transportation accident since an air crash outside Buffalo in February 2009 killed 50 people.

The limousine ran off the road Saturday at the bottom of a long hill in Schoharie, 25 miles west of Albany. The crash killed two pedestrians and all 18 people in the limo celebrating a woman’s birthday. The limo driver was among the dead.

WATCH: Authorities are trying to determine speed of limo in deadly crash in upstate NY

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.

The driver’s widow said her husband had expressed concerns about the company’s vehicles.

READ MORE: Limo driver in N.Y. crash previously had concerns about vehicles, wife says


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The limousine that ran the stop sign was cited for code violations on Sept. 4, including a problem with the antilock brakes’ malfunction indicator system. Four of the Gansevoort, New York-based company’s limos were cited for 22 maintenance violations this year, though none was deemed critical.

“Those safety issues had been addressed and corrected,” Kindlon told CBS News in a segment on Tuesday. “Not all infractions are major. A lot of these things are minor and were fixed.”

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.

Kindlon said he doesn’t think those infractions contributed to the crash.

A vigil for the victims will be held on Wednesday evening in a Schoharie school gymnasium.

Services have been set for some of the victims, including 24-year-old Savannah Devonne Bursese, of Johnstown, the accident’s youngest victim. Her family is holding a private service Friday. In nearby Amsterdam, a funeral Mass is scheduled Saturday for the four King sisters, three of their husbands and the brother of one of the husbands.

WATCH: Vigil held for victims of fatal limo crash in upstate New York

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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