The Latest: Lawyer says limo service operator isn't guilty




 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The Latest on the limousine crash in upstate New York that killed 20 people last weekend (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The lawyer for a limo service operator arrested in a crash that killed 20 people says his client isn't guilty.

The attorney, Lee Kindlon, spoke to reporters Wednesday after Nauman Hussain's arrest. State police said they charged the 28-year-old Hussain with criminally negligent homicide in Saturday's crash in Schoharie (skoh-HAYR'-ee).

Kindlon says police "jumped the gun in charging him with any crime."

Police called Hussain the operator of Prestige Limousine, but Kindlon says Hussain handled marketing and phone calls while his father ran the company day to day.

Prestige Limousine has come under intense scrutiny since the wreck.

State officials have said the limo failed an inspection and was declared "unserviceable" Sept. 4. Kindlon has said safety problems were corrected, though the state says that's not so.

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2:05 p.m.

Police say they have charged a limo service operator with criminally negligent homicide after a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York.

State police say Prestige Limousine operator Nauman Hussain was arrested Wednesday in a traffic stop on a highway near Albany. His lawyer hasn't immediately returned a call.

Police plan a news briefing Wednesday afternoon.

Prestige Limousine has come under intense scrutiny since Saturday's crash in Schoharie.

Two pedestrians and 18 people in a Prestige super-stretch limo were killed. It was taking a group to a birthday bash.

State officials have said the limo failed an inspection and was declared "unserviceable" Sept. 4. The company's lawyer has said safety problems were corrected, though the state says that's not so.

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12:30 p.m.

The New York State Police say that the operator of a limousine company involved in a deadly crash has been arrested.

The arrest was announced in a brief press release Wednesday afternoon.

It says Nauman Hussain was taken into custody following a traffic stop on a highway near Albany.

No further details were released on the charges, and it was unclear whether the arrest was related to the crash investigation.

A phone call to Hussain's lawyer was not immediately returned.

Saturday's limo crash in rural Schoharie killed 20 people.

State officials say the limo involved in the wreck failed an inspection last month and shouldn't have been on the road.

The limo company had said problems with the vehicle had been corrected.

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11:40 p.m.

The driver of a limousine involved in a deadly crash in upstate New York was stopped in August by a state trooper in the same vehicle and told he lacked the proper license to drive the limousine.

State police said Wednesday that a 2001 Ford Excursion limousine operated by Prestige Limousine and driven by Scott Lisinicchia was stopped by troopers on Aug. 25 in Saratoga Springs.

Lisinicchia was among 20 people killed in the same limousine on Saturday after it ran through a stop sign in rural Schoharie.

Police say the trooper issued violations, advised that Lisinicchia could not operate the vehicle and "took steps to ensure that the vehicle was taken off the road."

The incident was originally reported by the Times Union of Albany.

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10:08 a.m.

Services are set for some of the 20 people killed when a limousine crashed off a rural upstate New York road last weekend.

Savannah Devonne Bursese's family will receive relatives and friends Thursday at a funeral home in Gloversville. The 24-year-old from nearby Johnstown was the youngest victim of Saturday afternoon's crash in Schoharie (skoh-HAYR'-ee). A private service is planned for Friday.

Calling hours will be held Friday at a Catholic church in Amsterdam for the four King sisters, three of their husbands and the brother of one of the husbands. A funeral Mass will be held at the church on Saturday morning.

A funeral Mass will be held Monday at different Catholic church in Amsterdam for another married couple, Erin and Shane McGowan.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

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8:14 a.m.

The wife of a limousine driver involved in a New York crash that killed 20 people says her late husband expressed concerns about the company's vehicles.

Kim Lisinicchia ( lihs-ih-NIHK'-ee-uh) tells CBS in an interview broadcast Wednesday that her husband, Scott, stated several times that he needed a different vehicle but then trusted the company's assurances that its "cars were all right."

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, says safety issues had been corrected. He says the driver might have misjudged his ability to stop at the bottom of a hill Saturday in Schoharie (skoh-HAYR'-ee), New York.

Lisinicchia says her husband was "in excellent health" and drove a tractor-trailer for 20 years.

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