It's been two months since a limousine crash in Schoharie County killed 20 people, 17 of them on their way to a birthday celebration.
There have been a number of lawsuits filed in the last two months. That’s part of the reason why the limousine continues to be held at Troop G headquarters.
According to state police, the Schoharie County district attorney has control over the vehicle that crashed. That’s because of the ongoing criminal investigation against Nauman Hussein, who is the operator of Prestige Limousine. He faces criminally negligent homicide charges, which the district attorney will be prosecuting.
That has prevented the National Transportation Safety Board from issuing its preliminary report about what caused the fatal crash. The family of Amanda Rivenburg, one of the victims, has filed a civil suit against Hussein and his father, saying they should have known the vehicle wasn’t safe for the road. This was the first lawsuit filed by the family of a victim.
"I know from the family I'm dealing with, they want justice," said attorney Salvatore Ferlazzo.
Ferlazzo represents the family of crash victim Amanda Rivenburg, 29. Her parents' lawsuit claims the Prestige Limo owner knew the vehicle was both illegal and dangerous to be on the road.
Ferlazzo says momentum is key.
"Moving fast is really in your best interest. It doens't help you as a plaintiff to sit around and let those memories go stale," Ferlazzo said.
Ferlazzo also intends to file a suit against the state of New York as well.
"This was a known terrible site. The way the hill is configured, the signage. There's a 50 mile per hour sign right before a stop sign," Ferlazzo said.
Meanwhile, in Schoharie, the victims continue to be remembered. The limousine crashed into the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Store, and since then, the owners have dedicated a memorial. Employees and volunteers are displaying 20 handmade wreaths to remember the victims.
They have also created the Reflections Memorial Foundation, which you can donate to by visiting the website. So far, that foundation has raised more than $17,000 for the victims' families.