The widow of limousine driver Scott Lisinicchia, one of 20 to die in Saturday's crash in upstate New York, says Prestige Limousine "should have been more responsible." Kim Lisinicchia describes multiple safety violations by company vehicles as "unacceptable" for "a company where you have people's lives ... in your hands," per CBS News. She says her husband had complained about Prestige's vehicles a few times. The oversize 2001 Ford Excursion SUV involved in the crash failed a Sept. 4 inspection citing missing or defective emergency exits and malfunctioning brakes. An inspection in March found the same—a hydraulic brake line was dangling close to a tire, per the Albany Times Union—though the vehicle went on to log 1,289 miles between that inspection and the one in September.
A Prestige lawyer says the issues were fixed before Lisinicchia got behind the wheel Saturday, though the New York State Department of Transportation says that's "categorically false" and that Prestige's owner "was warned not to operate the vehicle." An "excellent driver" with experience behind the wheel of tractor-trailers, dump trucks, and cabs, Lisinicchia "trusted in what the limo company said, that the cars were all right," his widow says, per CBS and USA Today. That he was ticketed Aug. 25 for lacking a permit to legally drive vehicles able to carry more than 15 passengers (the Times Union reports he had a Class A CDL license to drive trucks) is moot, she adds: "This still would've happened and I feel like he still would have got blamed." (Read more car accident stories.)