The crash appeared to be the deadliest land-vehicle accident in the United States since a bus ferrying nursing home patients away from Hurricane Rita caught fire in Texas 2005, killing 23.
A relative says the limousine that crashed in upstate NY was carrying revelers to a 30th birthday party for one of four sisters on board.
Shane and Erin McGowan married in June, and her aunt said they were "two of the sweetest souls you could ever meet". Her sister and Cushing "were two peas in a pod", she said.
The addition of several thousand pounds of additional frame and sheet metal from the longer body and the added weight of carrying more than a dozen passengers also puts far greater strain on a stretch limo's brakes and tires than they were designed for, he said.
The site of a devastating accident that killed two pedestrians and 18 occupants of a limousine headed to a birthday party, including four sisters, is a known danger spot that has long anxious locals, according to a manager of the store that sits at the intersection where the accident happened.
The scrutiny is prompted by a tragic crash in NY - a limousine loaded with revelers bound for a 30th birthday celebration blew through a stop sign at the end of a highway and slammed into a parked SUV outside a store, killing all 18 people in the limo and two pedestrians.
Valerie Abeling says newlyweds Erin Vertucci and Shane McGowan were among those killed.
"They were two very young, lovely people", said Abeling.
"He loved, hugged and cried with his family and friends like their problems were his", he said.
"I can tell you that wearing seat belts does save lives. They had their whole lives ahead of them", she said.
The National Transportation Safety Board is calling one of the deadliest transportation accidents since a 2009 plane crash.More news: Economics of climate change, innovation win Nobel Prize for USA duo
Police said the 2001 Ford Excursion failed to stop at an intersection and continued into a parking lot, ultimately crashing into a parked auto. Two pedestrians were also killed.
After Comedian Tracy Morgan was seriously injured in a truck-limo van crash in New Jersey in 2014, the NTSB recommended the limousine industry encourage seat belt use in stretch limos, among other suggestions. Authorities say all the occupants died.
A similar safety issue arose in the 2014 crash that injured comic Tracy Morgan and killed his friend, comedian James McNair: The luxury limo van had been modified to block exit doors, which made it hard to reach the victims. Grief counseling is being offered at the Amsterdam school district, where victim Abby Jackson taught.
When she got out of her vehicle, she saw a body on the ground, she said. The Associated Press reported that the limousine passengers were on their way to a birthday party. The FBI paid Hussein a handsome salary for his work, which led to the arrests of four men planning on bombing a New York City synagogue and Jewish center.
A person with knowledge of the investigation into a crash that killed 20 people in upstate NY tells The Associated Press that 18 of the victims were in a limousine.
The vehicle was an after-market stretch limousine, according to an official briefed on the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. The two were killed when a limousine they were riding in crashed Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Schoharie, N.Y.
State police officials seized three of the company's vehicles, in addition to the modified limo involved in the crash, Patnaude said.
The brewery trip had been planned to celebrate her niece Amy Steenberg's 30th birthday, Douglas told CBS News.
The federal agency doesn't' know the limo's speed at this point at the time of the crash, Sumwalt said.
She told the New York Times: "That limo was coming down that hill probably over 60mph".
The store is a popular spot for autumn leaf-peepers.