20 dead in crash of limo headed to a birthday celebration

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New Delhi, OCT 08 :
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 New York, killing all 18 people in the limo and two pedestrians, officials and victims’ relatives said Sunday. The weekend crash was characterized by authorities as the deadliest U.S. transportation accident in nearly a decade. The crash turned a relaxed Saturday afternoon to horror at a rural spot popular with tourists viewing the region’s fall foliage. Relatives said the limousine was carrying the sisters and their friends to a 30th birthday celebration for the youngest.
“They were wonderful girls,” said their aunt, Barbara Douglas, speaking with reporters Sunday. “They’d do anything for you and they were very close to each other and they loved their family.” Douglas said three of the sisters were with their husbands, and she identified them as Amy and Axel Steenburg, Abigail and Adam Jackson, Mary and Rob Dyson and Allison King.
“They did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn’t have to drive anywhere,” she said, adding the couples had several children between them who they left at home.
The 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was traveling southwest on Route 30 in Schoharie, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) north of New York City, when it failed to stop at 2 p.m. Saturday at a T-junction with state Route 30A, State Police First Deputy Superintendent Christopher Fiore said at a news conference in Latham, New York.

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