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The Latest: Aunt says limo was on way to birthday party

October 7, 2018

LATHAM, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on a crash in upstate New York that killed 20 people (all times local):

4 p.m.

The aunt of one of the victims in a limousine crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York says the vehicle was on its way to a birthday celebration.

Valerie Abeling says newlyweds Erin Vertucci and Shane McGowan were among those killed. She says Vertucci was 34 and McGowan was 30.

Abeling says her daughter had been invited along but was unable to go.

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

She says “our lives have been changed forever.”

Officials say Saturday’s crash in Schoharie (sko-HAYR’-ee) was the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. since a 2009 plane crash in Buffalo, New York, killed 50 people.

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3:10 p.m.

State police say the limousine in an upstate New York crash that killed 20 people failed to stop at an intersection.

Authorities said at a news conference Sunday that the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine plowed into an unoccupied sport-utility vehicle in a parking lot across from the intersection. Two pedestrians there were also struck and died.

The other 18 victims in Saturday’s crash were in the limousine. Authorities say all the occupants died.

The crash was in Schoharie, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) north of New York City.

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1:40 p.m.

A witness says a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York “sounded like an explosion.”

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

She says she got out and saw a body on the ground by her vehicle, and broken tree branches everywhere.

A person with knowledge of the investigation tells The Associated Press that 18 of the victims were in a limousine and two were bystanders.

Schoharie is about 170 miles (270 kilometers) north of New York City.

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12:15 p.m.

A person with knowledge of the investigation into a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York tells The Associated Press that 18 of the victims were in a limousine.

The person was not authorized to discuss the preliminary information publicly and spoke Sunday on the condition of anonymity. The person says that the other two victims were bystanders.

State police said earlier that 20 people died in a two-vehicle crash at the Apple Barrel Country Store on Saturday in Schoharie (skoh-HAY’-ree). That’s about 170 miles (270 kilometers) north of New York City.

An afternoon news conference is planned.

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Associated Press writer David Klepper in Providence, Rhode Island, contributed.

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11:35 a.m.

State police say 20 people died in a crash in upstate New York that local officials say involved a limousine near a crowded tourist spot.

The Times Union of Albany reported local officials said a limo speeding down a hill crashed into bystanders at the Apple Barrel Country Store on Saturday in Schoharie (skoh-HAY’-ree). That’s about 170 miles (270 kilometers) north of New York City.

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

Authorities on Sunday didn’t release names of victims or specifics. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

An afternoon news conference is planned.

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