The operator of Prestige Limousine pleaded guilty to 20 counts of negligent homicide in connection with the fatal crash in Schoharie in 2018.
Nauman Hussain will be placed on interim probation for two years and serve 1,000 hours of community service, per after which time he will serve three more years of probation, but will serve no jail time. He also will pay an undisclosed amount of money in restitution to Schoharie County.
Hussain appeared in a makeshift county courtroom at Schoharie High School on Thursday afternoon. As part of a plea agreement, he waived his right to appeal.
The Oct. 6, 2018, crash killed 17 passengers, the driver of the limousine and two pedestrians.
Hussain, originally charged with 20 counts manslaughter and 20 counts criminally negligent homicide after it was found that the limousine was unfit to be out on the road due to a lack of upkeep and corroded brake lines, will also be prohibited from owning, operating or working for "any commercial transportation business," according to terms of the plea agreement, and he must surrender all firearms he owns.
The limousine that crashed at the Apple Barrel restaurant at the intersection of Routes 30 and 30A had numerous violations from the New York State Department of Transportation and placed out of service just several weeks before that crash. Yet it continued to be out on the road and eventually carried that group of young people celebrating a 30th birthday before it crashed.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigation found that Prestige Limousine and its disregard for safety was the probable cause in that crash.
A very difficult moment in the courtroom as the judge goes through each count- asking Hussain if he -through criminal negligence caused the death of each victim. Judge says each of the 20 names. @SpecNews1Albany— Melissa Steininger (@melissasteinTV) September 2, 2021