Nauman Hussain, 28, was indicted on 40 charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide on Friday in connection with a horror stretch limousine crash that left 20 dead in upstate New York in October. Hussain was in charge of running the company that rented out the limo involved, Prestige Limousine
The operator of a limousine company has been indicted on 40 charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide stemming from a horror crash that left 20 dead in upstate New York last fall.
The grand jury indictment against Nauman Hussain came nearly six months after the collision involving a stretch limo rented out by Presige Limousine, which was run by the 28-year-old and owned by his father.
Hussain was initially charged with just one count of criminally negligent homicide stemming from the crash.
Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery asked the grand jury to indict Hussain on a criminally negligent homicide charge for each victim of the crash, which included the driver, 17 passengers and two bystanders.
The grand jury also indicted Hussain on separate second-degree manslaughter charges for each victim.
At the time of Hussain’s arrest, New York State Police said the 2001 Ford Excursion stretch limousine should not have been on the road due to safety concerns.
Under the previous, single charge, Hussain was facing up to four years in prison, but under the new charges he could face consecutive sentences for each count he’s convicted under – which could amount to 160 years.
The limousine involved in the October 6 crash had failed a safety inspection a month prior and its driver did not have a license to carry commercial passengers
Hussain’s attorney suggested on Friday that his client will plead not guilty at his arraignment scheduled for Wednesday.
‘This is a flawed indictment fundamentally at odds with itself,’ attorney Lee Kindlon said in a statement.
‘Mr Hussain is not guilty of criminal wrongdoing and we will fight for him every step of the way.’
Presige Limousine rented out the modified stretch limo that had failed two previous inspections to a group of friends headed to a birthday party on October 6.
Four sisters, three US army veterans, and an accomplished professor and his father-in-law who were walking to the store all died when the limo tore through a stop sign at a busy intersection and careened out of control.
The crash was the deadliest transportation disaster in the United States in nearly a decade.
Earlier this week it was revealed that the limo’s driver, 53-year-old Scott T Lisinicchia, had a ‘significant’ amount of marijuana and traces of anti-seizure medication in his body at the time of his death.
Those findings could pose a challenge for prosecutors pursuing the case against Hussain.
LIMO CRASH VICTIMS
Amy & Axel Steenburg
The limousine that crashed Saturday was headed to a brewery in Cooperstown, New York, to celebrate Amy Steenburg’s 30th birthday. Amy was killed alongside her new husband Axel
The limousine that crashed on Saturday was headed to a brewery in Cooperstown, New York, to celebrate Amy Steenburg’s 30th birthday.
Axel, 29, and Amy had just tied the knot in June.
Amy was a nurse for the state Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.
Her three sisters – Allison, Mary, and Abby – were also killed, as were two of their husbands and Axel’s brother Rich.
Just days before the crash, Amy had uploaded a post gushing about Axel to Facebook which read: ‘I love you more than words can say.’
‘You are such an amazing man and entertain all my crazy ideas. Even when I move a couch just to move it back to the original place.’
Amy and Axel had rented a bus from Prestige Limousines. When the bus broke down en-route to the brewery, it sent a 2011 Ford Excursion stretch limo in its place.
Abigail & Adam Jackson
Amy’s sister Abigail and her husband Adam Jackson were parents to Archer, four, and one-year-old Elle (all pictured together)
Amy’s sister Abigail and her husband Adam Jackson were parents to Archer, four, and one-year-old Elle.
‘Adam and Abby were amazing parents to these girls and taken much too soon,’ the description reads.
‘While families will step in and provide loving care for these girls, there will be expenses that we can help with during this time when we otherwise feel so helpless.’
Abigail, or ‘Abby’ as she was known, was a reading teacher at Lynch Literacy Academy.
She became a teacher because she loved working with children, Rich Peters, president of the Amsterdam Teachers Association, told the
‘She wanted to help them better their lives,’ he said.
Adam was a deputy commissioner with the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Mary and Bob Dyson
Mary, one of the four sisters killed in the crash, and her husband Rob Dyson left behind a three-year-old son named Issac
Mary, one of the four sisters killed in the crash, and her husband Rob Dyson left behind a three-year-old son.
The couple lived in Watertown, New York, where Mary – who served in the US Army from 2007 to 2013 – worked as an engineer.
She was also a coach at Star Spangled Crossfit, which dedicated a workout to her on Monday.
The couple graduated from Clarkson University together in 2007, and the school held a candlelight vigil for them on Monday night.
‘Clarkson is a tight-knit community,’ it wrote in a statement on Facebook. ‘All losses like this cause us to come together and reflect on the friendships we’ve made.’
Allison King, pictured with her niece, also died in the tragic crash that left 20 people dead
Allison King, sister to Mary, Abby, and Amy, also perished in the devastating crash.
King was one of four people in the limo who was an alumni of SUNY Plattsburgh, where she graduated in 2010 with a degree in speech communications.
Barbara Douglas, the sisters’ aunt, said the family was completely devastated by their loss.
She described all four sisters, who were aged 30 to 35, as ‘beautiful girls, full of life’ and said two were mothers.
‘They had their whole lives ahead of them,’ she said.
Axel’s brother Rich, (right) was also killed in the accident. Pictured left, a tribute to all three of the Steenburgs posted on social media
Rich Steenburg, 34, was killed alongside his brother Axel. They both worked at GlobalFoundries, a semiconductor and manufacturing company.
Steenburg’s wife Kimberly had planned to go to the birthday party, but canceled at the last minute because she wasn’t feeling well.
The couple share two children together, a 10-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. They recently bought a home together.
Steenburg’s family released a statement on Monday evening, saying they had ‘suffered tremendous loss that is nothing short of tragic’.
‘Those left behind by the perished include children, spouses and parents — among others,’ it read.
‘We thank all of the first responders who have assisted, those who have reached out with kindness and love and those who continue to support us as we mourn those we lost.’
Erin and Shane McGowan
Erin and Shane McGowan were one of two pairs of newlyweds in Saturday’s tragic limo crash
Erin and Shane McGowan were one of two pairs of newlyweds in Saturday’s tragic limo crash.
Shane, 30, and Erin, 34, had only just tied the knot in June after dating for three years.
McGowan was an administrative assistant at St Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam.
She had recently been thinking of going back to school to become a billing administrator, according to her aunt Valerie Abeling.
‘They had everything going for them,’ Abeling said. ‘She was a beautiful, sweet soul. He was too. They were two very young, beautiful people.’
Anthony Vertucci, Erin’s uncle, spoke of the ‘darkness and devastation’ that had hit his family and shared photos of his niece’s wedding day in a heartbreaking tribute.
‘My heart has stopped,’ he wrote. ‘Unspeakable tragedy that I can’t comprehend and will never come to terms with.’
‘I just wanted all of you to see pictures of Erin and Shane, these two beautiful and amazing people, on the best and happiest days of their lives.’
It was Erin who had texted both Abeling and her friend Melissa Healey about the state of the limo before it crashed.
McGowan told Abeling the limo was in ‘terrible condition’, and texted Healey that the motor was ‘making everyone deaf’.
Patrick Cushing and Amanda Halse
Patrick Cushing, Erin’s cousin, was killed in the crash alongside his girlfriend Amanda Halse
Patrick Cushing, Erin’s cousin, was killed in the crash alongside his girlfriend Amanda Halse.
Cushing, as the 31-year-old was lovingly called by friends, worked in the technology office of New York’s state Senate.
On Monday Senate Leader John Flanagan described Cushing as an ‘extraordinary’ employee and ‘wonderful young man’.
Cushing also played for Team USA Dodgeball, and his team said he was full of ‘unconditional kindness’ and the ability to ‘make friends of his fiercest competitors’.
The team plans to retire Cushing’s number in his honor.
Halse, 26, worked as a waitress in Watervliet and was a ‘very strong and independent person’, according to sister Karina.
‘She didn’t like it when other people did things for her,’ she added. ‘She would be the one to initiate things.’
Karina, who had been texting with Amanda just as she was stepping into the limo, said the couple were ‘two peas in a pod’.
‘I feel like my heart is sunken,’ she added. ‘It’s in a place where I’ve never felt this type of pain before.’
Matthew Coons and Savannah Devonne
Matthew Coons, a US Army veteran, was killed alongside his girlfriend Savannah Devonne
Matthew Coons, a US Army veteran, and his girlfriend Savannah Devonne were among the victims of Saturday’s crash.
Coons had been a groomsman at Axel’s wedding in June.
He lived with Savannah and his sister, a single mother with two daughters who he helped financially support.
Suzanne Douglass, Coons’ aunt, said he had a ‘huge golden heart’.
‘He will be sorely missed by his sister and her children,’ she said. ‘He made their life very joyful with his very sweet disposition.’
Savannah graduated from Hartwick College in 2015 with a degree in political science and business administration.
She was a volleyball player and a member of the Phi Sigma Phi sorority.
‘There are no words that can heal the friends and family of Savannah’s pain as a single moment has now changed their lives forever,’ her sorority sisters wrote in a tribute.
Amanda Rivenburg, a friend of Amy’s, spent the last seven years working for Living Resources, a New York nonprofit for people with disabilities
Amanda Rivenburg, a friend of Amy’s, spent the last seven years working for Living Resources, a New York nonprofit for people with disabilities.
Steve Klein, the organization’s associate executive director, said she was beloved by all her colleagues.
‘She was passionate about her work, and everyone relied on her for guidance,’ he said.
Frank Prevratil, Amanda’s supervisor, said she was a ‘young susperstar’.
‘Amanda met her actual calling,’ he said. ‘Her calling was to serve the population and she did.’
‘She was dedicated and wonderful and kind.’
Rachael Cavosie also perished in the tragic limousine accent on Saturday. Alyssa Cavosie, Rachael’s cousin, said she was a soul that ‘touched so many lives’
Rachael Cavosie also perished in the tragic limousine accent on Saturday.
Alyssa Cavosie, Rachael’s cousin, said she was a soul that ‘touched so many lives’.
‘She gave me so much guidance,’ Alyssa wrote in a touching Facebook tribute.
‘Even though she was the younger cousin, I looked up to her and often sought her advice through out my life.’
Rachael is survived by her parents, a sister, and two brothers.
Michael Ukaj, 34, was one of three US Army veterans who died in Saturday’s horrific crash
Michael Ukaj, 34, was one of three US Army veterans who died in Saturday’s horrific crash.
Ukaj, a US Marine Corps veteran who served one combat tour in Iraq, was killed on his birthday.
His mother, Mary Ashton, had tried to call and wish him a happy birthday nearly at the exact time the crash occurred.
‘You were such an inspiration when you wanted to join the Marine Corps,’ Ashton wrote in a tribute to her son, who enlisted at age 17, on Facebook.
‘Thank you for your combat service and for being my son. I love you forever.’
Ashton told the Times-Union that Ukaj suffered with severe PTSD from his time in combat, but that he was ‘very happy and enjoyed life’.
‘He posted pictures of him with friends, skeet shooting and having bonfires,’ she said.
‘He was fixing up my parents’ house and enjoying his life.’
Brian Hough and James Schnurr
SUNY Oswego associate professor Brian Hough (pictured) and his father-in-law James Schnurr were the two pedestrians who were killed during the limo crash on Saturday
Brian Hough and his father-in-law James Schnurr were the two pedestrians who were killed during the limo crash on Saturday.
The pair were in the parking lot of Apple Barrel Country Store when the limo ran a stop sign at a dangerous intersection and came barreling through, striking them.
Hough, who had a PhD in geological sciences, was an associate geology professor at SUNY Oswego. He leaves behind a wife and an eight-year-old son.
Atra Hough, Brian’s mother, said he was a ‘warmhearted, wonderful person’ who loved teaching and working with students.
Brian’s aunt, Katie Kent, said the family was ‘absolutely devastated’ at the ‘incomprehensible loss’.
‘My nephew was an accomplished professor, an amazing husband, and daddy. Our family is trying to make sense of this,’ she wrote.
SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley released a statement on Monday and said Brian was a ‘major part’ of the campus’ family.
‘He was a dedicated faculty member who inspired his students to learn and understand at a deep level, and whose contributions were often sought by his colleagues,’ she said. ‘He will be missed and remembered fondly by all, always.’
Scott Lisinicchia, 53, was the driver behind the wheel of the 2001 Ford Excursion that crashed on Saturday. He is pictured here with his wife Kim
Scott Lisinicchia, 53, was the driver behind the wheel of the 2001 Ford Excursion that crashed on Saturday.
‘It hurts me to a core to have to bury my husband,’ Lisinicchia’s wife, Kim, wrote in a tribute on Facebook.