Local Limo Companies Speak Out About Fatal AccidentPosted: Updated:
During a Columbus Day parade Monday, Governor Cuomo told reporters that the driver of the limo involved in the deadly crash that claimed the lives of 20 people outside of Albany Saturday did not have the appropriate license. The limo also failed inspection a month ago.
"The owner of the company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road," said Cuomo. "Sometimes people just don't follow the law and that may be what happened here."
We spoke with the owners of two north country limousine companies. They told us you shouldn't judge all limos or companies by this tragedy. But you should pay attention to who's behind the wheel.
"No, it has nothing to do with the vehicle, it probably has something to do with the operator of the vehicle because most of the time we have been using limos, we haven't had any major limo accidents in the past 20-30 years," said Christopher Emenua, owner of Chris Taxi Services of Watertown.
"I don't know if it's the whole limo industry, I think it's on each boss and their drivers. I think the drivers should have really deep training - how to drive and how to be careful - and make sure that they have the proper license," said Bruce Hives, owner of Private Chauffeur Limousines of Watertown.
Investigators are still trying to figure out whether the passengers were wearing seat belts, or if there were even seat belts in the back of the limo at all; but according to New York law, only those in the front seat have to wear them.
Even when there are seat belts in the back of limos, do people use them?
"It's pretty much up to the customer if they want to wear them or not," said Hives.
The limo involved in the fatal accident was a modified vehicle.
Hives said he would never buy a modified limo, one that's been chopped and expanded. He says if the work isn't done right, they can be very dangerous.