Limo Service Operater Guilty of 20 Counts of Manslaughter

Nauman Hussain faces up to 15 years in prison
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2023 5:18 PM CDT
Limo Service Operator Guilty in Crash That Killed 20
Nauman Hussain, who ran the limousine company involved in the 2018 crash that killed 20 people, walks outside during a lunch break in his trial in Schoharie, NY, May 1, 2023.   (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

Limousine service manager Nauman Hussain was convicted of manslaughter Monday in a courtroom in Albany, New York, just a few miles away from the site of a crash that killed 20 people in 2018. The jury deliberated for less than six hours before finding Hussain guilty of 20 counts of second-degree murder in the crash, which killed 17 passengers, the driver, and two pedestrians, the Albany Times Union reports. Hussain, 33, could face up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced later this month.

In a move that shocked defense attorneys last year, state Supreme Court Justice Peter Lynch rejected a plea deal that would have meant no prison time for Hussain. The trial ended up being much shorter than expected, wrapping up in six days when some had expected six weeks, the New York Times. The Times Union reports that relatives of the victims burst into tears and some applauded when the verdict was read out. The passengers, including four sisters, were on the way to a birthday party when the 2001 Ford Excursion's brakes failed, causing the country's worst transportation disaster in more than a decade.

In closing arguments, Hussain's lawyer, Lee Kindlon, said that his client had been misled by a repair shop that told him the 31-foot vehicle's brakes had been fixed, the AP reports. Prosecutors said Hussain failed to conduct required inspections on the vehicle that would have prevented the crash. "Mr. Hussain caused the deaths of the victims," prosecutor Frederick Rench said. He said Hussain had lied about the vehicle's condition and failed in his duty to ensure it was roadworthy. (More car crash stories.)

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