Joint fu­neral set for 4 sis­ters, spouses killed in N.Y. limo crash

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD -

AMSTERDAM, N.Y. — An up­state New York com­mu­nity stricken with grief af­ter a limou­sine crash that killed 20 peo­ple is say­ing good­bye Satur­day to four sis­ters and four fam­ily mem­bers who were on the ill­fated birth­day cel­e­bra­tion trip.

The com­bined ser­vice is be­ing held a week af­ter the stretch limo loaded with 18 peo­ple ran a stop sign and crashed at the bot­tom of a long hill in nearby Schoharie. Ev­ery­one in the limou­sine died, as well as two pedes­tri­ans.

Four sis­ters who grew up in this town on the Mo­hawk River are among the dead.

Now a com­bined fu­neral will honor the mem­ory of Al­li­son King, sis­ter Abi­gail Jack­son and her hus­band Adam Jack­son, sis­ter Mary Dyson and her hus­band Robert Dyson, sis­ter Amy Steen­burg and her hus­band Axel Steen­burg and his older brother, Richard Steen­burg.

Rel­a­tives say the group — most of them in their 30s — was cel­e­brat­ing the up­com­ing 30th birth­day of Amy Steen­burg with a trip to a brew­ery in Coop­er­stown.

The sud­den loss of the group with deep ties to the re­gion brought an out­pour­ing of grief. A can­dle­light vigil along the river on Mon­day drew thou­sands of peo­ple, many who knew the sis­ters though work or school. Two of them still lived in Amsterdam.

The Dysons leave be­hind a tod­dler-age son and the Jack­sons had two young girls. Amy and Axel were mar­ried in June.

While au­thor­i­ties con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate the cause of the crash, pros­e­cu­tors have charged the op­er­a­tor of the limo, Nau­man Hus­sein, with crim­i­nally neg­li­gent homi­cide, say­ing he al­lowed an im­prop­erly li­censed driver to op­er­ate an “un­ser­vice­able” ve­hi­cle.

JOHN CARL D’AN­NI­BALE/THE AL­BANY TIMES UNION VIA AP

Mourn­ers leave St. Stanis­laus Ro­man Catholic Church dur­ing call­ing hours Fri­day for crash vic­tims Al­li­son King, Abi­gail Jack­son, Adam Jack­son, Mary Dyson, Robert Dyson, Amy Steen­burg, Axel Steen­burg and Richard Steen­burg in Amsterdam, New York.

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