Lawyers for Nauman Hussain, who possibly faces years in state prison for his alleged role in the 2018 limousine crash in Schoharie that killed 20 people, were unsuccessful again in July to obtain a plea deal in his criminal case. Hussain, 31, is facing 20 counts each of criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter, both of which could send him to state prison for years if he is convicted at trial. Hussain has been free on bond since his April 2019 arraignment, although he is monitored by the court with an ankle bracelet.

There is much to be considered, including that the crash – which involved a group of 17 friends from the Amsterdam area riding in a 34-foot stretch Ford Excursion limo rented from Hussain for a birthday party – was the worst highway transportation disaster in the United States in more than a decade. Many of those aboard the limo were siblings and newlyweds, some with children.

The crash happened after the limo driver – driving the 17 friends to a brewery in Cooperstown for the birthday party – appeared to get lost or disoriented at the top of a steep section of Route 30 just outside the village of Schoharie. While descending the hill, the Excursion’s brakes failed, according to multiple investigations, and the Excursion plowed into the parking lot of a local tourist destination, the Apple Barrel Country Store, going 100 mph. Two bystanders, visiting from out-of-town for a wedding, were killed, and all 18 people in the limo, including the driver, also died when the limo crashed into a ditch. No one but the driver was wearing a seat belt.

Prosecutors have alleged that Hussain knew the limo was not only dangerous but illegal, having been hit with numerous violations by the state Department of Transportation, which ordered the Excursion off the road multiple times.

Source: Times Union

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