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A limousine carrying four sisters, other relatives and friends to a birthday celebration blew through a stop sign and slammed into a parked SUV outside a store in upstate NY, killing all 18 people in the limo and two pedestrians, officials and victims' relatives said Sunday.

State police confirmed Sunday that the death toll was 20 and said the crash involved two vehicles. The two were killed when a limousine they were riding in crashed Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Schoharie, N.Y. The names of the victims were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Victims had to be extricated from the vehicle using the Jaws of Life tool.

She says the family has not learned much about the circumstances of the crash.

Large-limo wrecks are relatively few: 12 nationwide between 2012 and 2016, compared with over 157,000 crashes involving all types of vehicles during that period, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The limousine struck an unoccupied 2015 Toyota Highlander, New York State Police First Deputy Superintendent Christopher Fiore said at a news conference Sunday.

We know that the vehicle hurtled through a stop sign before piling into a parked auto killing 18 people in the limo and two pedestrians.

All 18 people inside the stretch limo, including the driver, were killed.

The crash appeared to be the deadliest land-vehicle accident in the US since a bus ferrying nursing home patients away from Hurricane Rita caught fire in Texas in 2005, killing 23.

U.S. media had earlier reported that the vehicle was on its way to a wedding, but an aunt of one of the victims has said it was in fact heading to a birthday party.

Many of those lives centered around the Amsterdam area. Some of them were from Gloversville and a few were from Broadalbin.

Two of the couples were newlyweds, the paper said.

"My whole entire family is in complete and utter shock".

Emergency personnel respond to the scene of the deadly crash.

The King family hopes to hold one funeral at St. Stanislaus Church for all four daughters and three sons-in-law, a family member told CBS2.

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All of Ms. Steenburg's sisters, and Mr. Steenburg's brother, Rich, also died in the accident.

"Karina Halse visited the crash site Monday in Schoharie (skoh-HAYR'-ee) and talked about her 26-year-old sister, Amanda Halse, who she said was in the limo with her boyfriend, Patrick Cushing". The couple had rented the limousine to celebrate Amy's 30th birthday with 16 of their friends and family members.

"You're always hoping you find the love of your life, it's what you hope and wish and dream for, and they found each other", Erin McGowan's uncle Anthony Vertucci told the Times Union. Both were killed. She was an administrative assistant at St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam.

Linda Riley of Schenectady, New York, says she was in a parked auto at the Apple Barrel Country Store in Schoharie (skoh-HAY'-ree) on Saturday when she heard the noise.

The Amsterdam school district is offering grief counseling Monday.

A Go Fund Me page has already been started for the Jacksons' children, Archer and Ellie.

Giardino said authorities indicated the Fulton County Sheriff's Department wasn't needed to help at this point.

"We do need to learn from this", he said. "It's such a tragedy now". Police said Sunday they were not releasing any of the victims' names, pending autopsies and notification of next of kin. "I have directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy".

The store is a popular spot for autumn leaf-peepers.

Customers in the parking lot were killed when they were hit by the limo coming down a hill on state Route 30 at "probably over 60 miles per hour [100kmh]", the store manager, Jessica Kirby, told The New York Times.

When she got out of her vehicle, she saw a body on the ground and broken tree branches everywhere, she said. Officials worked with the state to outlaw heavy trucks, Kirby said, but accidents there continue.

In her final Facebook post, Amy wrote that loved her husband "more than words can say". Chuck Schumer of NY, asked federal officials several years ago to implement higher safety standards for stretch limos modified after leaving the manufacturer.

"You just can't wrap your head around it, you just can't", said Barbara Douglas, an aunt to four of those who died.

Abeling said her niece's new husband, 30-year-old Shane McGowan, had also been in the limousine.

"They were attractive girls, full of life".


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