Stefanik: fatal limo crash ‘could have been avoided’

Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 2:47 PM EST
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWNY) - A limousine crash in 2018 which killed 20 people, including a Watertown couple, didn’t have to happen, north country congresswoman Elise Stefanik said Tuesday.

During a hearing on Capitol Hill, Stefanik said the crash “could have been avoided,” had the government addressed “the illegal acts” of the limousine company’s owner.

The October 6, 2018 crash occurred in Schoharie County when a stretch limousine with a long history of mechanical problems barreled out of control. Most of the victims were related, or close friends, and were on their way to celebrate a birthday.

Robert and Mary Dyson of Watertown were among those killed.

Stefanik said Tuesday that the owner of the limousine company, Shahed Hussein, who was a longtime FBI informant in the ‘War On Terror,’ had never faced consequences for breaking the law over and over again.

“This FBI informant had multiple run-ins with the law, and various state and federal agencies, that miraculously were brushed away again and again and again,” she said.

“He lied on tax returns and immigration papers, he misled FBI handlers, committed bankruptcy fraud, his hotel that he owned wracked up code violations and tens of thousands in unpaid property taxes with no consequences, and most tragically, this deadly limo company falsified reports, lied about the alteration of an illegal vehicle, and the out of service rate for this vehicle was 80 percent. Unimaginable,” Stefanik said.

Stefanik demanded of FBI Director Christopher Wray that the FBI release to congress all the files detailing its relationship with Hussein.

“I believe this deadly limo tragedy, the biggest transportation tragedy in this country, could have been avoided, had we addressed the acts, the illegal acts, of this FBI informant,” she told Wray.

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