Limo firm op­er­a­tor faces homi­cide count

The Washington Post - - POLITICS & THE NATION - — Faiz Sid­diqui

The op­er­a­tor of Pres­tige Li­mou­sine was ar­rested Wed­nes­day and charged with one count of crim­i­nally neg­li­gent homi­cide, days af­ter one of the com­pany’s lim­ou­sines crashed into a parked SUV in a store park­ing lot, killing 20 peo­ple in Up­state New York, au­thor­i­ties said.

New York State Po­lice said Nau­man Hus­sain, 28, was ar­rested af­ter a traf­fic stop on In­ter­state 787. Hus­sain is the son of the com­pany’s owner, Sha­hed Hus­sain, and was run­ning the com­pany’s day-to­day op­er­a­tions, au­thor­i­ties said.

At a news con­fer­ence Wed­nes­day, New York State Po­lice Su­per­in­ten­dent George P. Beach said Nau­man Hus­sain had pre­vi­ously been served writ­ten vi­o­la­tions by state po­lice and the state Trans­porta­tion Depart­ment that the limo driver, Scott T. Lisinic­chia, 53, was not li­censed to op­er­ate the ve­hi­cle. Fur­ther, he knew about the state in­spec­tion in Septem­ber that re­sulted in the ve­hi­cle be­ing or­dered out of ser­vice, Beach said.

At­tor­ney Lee Kind­lon said that his client was “not guilty” and that po­lice “jumped the gun” on bring­ing charges, ac­cord­ing to USA To­day.

Af­ter the crash Satur­day in Schoharie, about 25 miles west of Al­bany, that killed two pedes­tri­ans and 18 peo­ple in the stretch limo, in­clud­ing the driver, Gov. An­drew M. Cuomo (D) high­lighted Pres­tige’s spotty safety record and said the com­pany’s owner had “a lot of ques­tions to an­swer.” The com­pany’s three ve­hi­cles had failed mul­ti­ple state and fed­eral com­pli­ance in­spec­tions, and the ve­hi­cle in­volved in the crash had failed a state in­spec­tion a month be­fore, of­fi­cials said.

CAR­LOS OS­O­RIO/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A po­lar bear holds a pump­kin at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, Mich., dur­ing the zoo’s an­nual Smash­ing Pump­kins event on Wed­nes­day. Each Oc­to­ber, some of the an­i­mals re­ceive treat-filled pump­kins hid­den through­out their habi­tats or pre­pared and placed in a man­ner to stim­u­late nat­u­ral be­hav­iors.

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