While celebrating her 30th birthday, Amy Steenburg and a group of her family and friends rented a limo service to take them around upstate New York on October 6.
That same night, the limo carrying the group of 17 people failed to stop at an intersection, causing the vehicle to spin into a parking lot where it hit an empty SUV before it tumbled into a ravine, People reports. As a result of the impact from the limo, the empty SUV was thrown into two pedestrians.
I just wanted to say Axel Steenburg I love you more than words can say! You are such an amazing man and entertain all my…
A witness who saw the limo before it crashed told The New York Times:
“That limo was coming down that hill probably over 60 miles per hour.”
Sadly, all 17 partygoers, the limo driver, and the two pedestrians hit by the SUV passed away. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the crash is now considered the “most deadly transportation accident” in the United States since 2009.
Now, family members of the victims involved in the accident are speaking out.
As NBC reported, the aunt of Steenburg and her sisters — Abigail Jackson, Mary Dyson and Allison King — said she believes her nieces and the rest of the group were trying to do the right thing by renting the limo.
They did so to avoid anyone drinking and driving:
“They did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn’t be driving.”
“My brother and his wife are just overwrought. I don’t know how to say it. Can’t wrap your head around such a tragedy where you have four of your daughters die.”
Also involved in the crash were the husbands of three of the sisters — Axel Steenburg, Adam Jackson, and Rob Dyson.
Amy and Axel just recently got married in June of this year. Abigail and Adam sadly leave behind their two daughters, who are 4 years old and 16 months old.
A GoFundMe has been set up for their girls and for Axel and Rich Steenburg, another victim of the crash, respectively.
The account set up for the little girls read:
Adam and Abby were amazing parents to these girls and taken much too soon. While families will step in and provide loving care for these girls, there will be expenses that we can help with during this time when we otherwise feel so helpless.
According to USA Today, the limo company that was responsible for the vehicle owns three limos in total and employs two drivers.
The horrific event that claimed the lives of 20 people on Saturday has left us with pain that feels unbearable and unending. Tonight we saw the strength of our Amsterdam community once again— thousands came together to honor, remember their lives and support their families. pic.twitter.com/gIuqeWjdk2
— Angelo Santabarbara (@AsmSantabarbara) October 9, 2018
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in the press briefing that the limo involved in the crash “failed a New York state inspection last month.”
It’s also been reported that the driver of the limo did not have the proper license to legally operate the vehicle.
The names of the other victims involved in the accident have not yet been revealed.