Highway Accident Report: Stretch Limousine Run-Off-Road Crash Near Schoharie, New York, October 6, 2018

​On October 6, 2018, about 1:55 p.m. (local time), a 2001 Ford Excursion XLT stretch limousine, operated by Prestige Limousine and Chauffeur Service, was traveling south on New York State Route 30 (NY-30) near Schoharie, Schoharie County, New York. The limousine, occupied by a 53-year-old driver and 17 passengers, was descending a downhill grade that began about 1.81 miles north of a T-intersection with New York State Route 30A (NY-30A). The posted speed limit was 55 mph. Although the driver likely applied the brakes while descending the hill, the brake system failed to effectively slow the limousine down the grade, and the vehicle’s speed increased to over 100 mph. The driver steered the vehicle over the double pavement striping to avoid a car stopped at the NY-30/NY-30A intersection, proceeded past a stop sign, crossed the intersection, and entered the driveway of a restaurant parking lot. The limousine struck an unoccupied 2015 Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle (SUV) that was parked in a grassy field adjacent to the driveway. Two pedestrians who were standing near the SUV were struck by it when the SUV was forced forward by the limousine. The limousine continued across the edge of the driveway and into a ravine, where it struck an earthen embankment and several trees. As a result of the crash, 20 people died, including all 18 limousine occupants and the 2 pedestrians. ​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Schoharie, New York, crash was Prestige Limousine and Chauffeur Service’s egregious disregard for safety, in dispatching a stretch limousine with an out-of-service order for a passenger charter trip, resulting in the failure of its brake system while descending the steep grade of New York State Route 30. Contributing to the crash was the New York State Department of Transportation’s ineffective oversight of Prestige Limousine, despite its knowledge of the carrier’s multiple out-of-service violations and lack of operating authority, as well as the department’s inadequate repair verification process. Further contributing to the crash was the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles’ inadequate oversight of state-licensed inspection stations and its failure to properly register the limousine, which enabled Prestige Limousine to circumvent the state’s safety regulations and more rigorous inspection requirements.


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Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 103p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01759660
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB/HAR-20/03, Accident ID: HWY19MH001
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 10 2020 10:33AM