20 People Dead After Horrific Crash Involving Wedding Party Limousine in Upstate New York

The authorities said that 20 people were killed in an accident outside the Apple Barrel Country Store in Schoharie, N.Y., on Saturday.
Peter R. Barber/The Daily Gazette

A two-vehicle collision involving a limousine has left 20 dead in upstate New York, the New York State Police said on Sunday. Federal investigators were heading to the scene.

Local reports said the limousine collided with another vehicle outside the Apple Barrel Country Store in Schoharie, N.Y., on Saturday afternoon.

Jessica Kirby, 36, the manager of the Apple Barrel Country Store, said multiple customers in the parking lot were killed when they were hit by the limousine as it sped down the hill on Route 30.

“All fatal,” she said in a phone interview. “That limo was coming down that hill probably over 60 miles per hour.”

“I don’t want to describe the scene,” she added. “It’s not something I want to think about.”

On Sunday, remnants of the crash were still visible, including tire tracks in the ground off the road, leading to a small ravine. What appeared to be debris from the car littered the scene: mirror fragments, taillight pieces, a hairbrush.

Ms. Kirby said she did not see the people inside the limousine and she could not describe the make or model of the other vehicle involved because it was “a mess.”

Lester Andrews, 60, from Rochester, N.Y., said his two stepsons and a daughter-in-law were among three of the people killed in the crash. They were in the limousine.

The brothers, Axel Steenburg, 29, and Rich Steenburg, 34, lived upstate, he said. Axel Steenburg’s wife, Amy, also died in the crash, he said.

Axel and Amy, who live in Amsterdam, N.Y., and were married over the summer, were the ones who rented the limousine, he said.

“They rented the limo with some families and I don’t know exactly what they were doing.” Mr. Andrews said in a phone interview. “There’s just a lot of confusion, so many people died,” he said.

“Their mother is looking for some answers, he said. “She wants to know what happened to her sons.”

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SOURCE: New York Times, Shane Goldmacher and Luis Ferré-Sadurní