While limousines are not a common form of transportation for most people, many find themselves occasionally riding in a limo for special occasions such as weddings, proms, or birthday parties. In addition, limousine touring has become increasingly popular as a way to more safely enjoy the Maryland wine country. Given the number of passengers a limousine can carry, Maryland limousine accidents have the potential to cause serious injury to a large number of people.
Earlier this month, a limousine accident in Upstate New York claimed the lives of 20 people, including everyone inside the limo and two pedestrian bystanders. Federal authorities have declared the crash as the deadliest in the United States in nearly a decade. According to a recent news report, the accident occurred in the early afternoon hours in Schoharie, New York. Evidently, a 2001 Ford Limousine approached a T-intersection at a high rate of speed, traveling through the intersection and into the parking lot of a restaurant. The limo then crashed into an unoccupied SUV.
Authorities noted that several people witnessed the accident, but it was clear from the physical evidence at the scene where the limo was coming from. It appears as though the roads leading to the intersection where the accident occurred are steep and offer only limited visibility of the approaching intersection. In fact, the New York Department of Transportation recently prohibited large trucks from using the road due to fears that the vehicles would lose their ability to brake effectively down the steep hill.
The National Transportation Safety Board immediately sent a team of investigators to the scene, and an investigation is underway. Investigators believe that the limousine was traveling at around 60 miles per hour when it entered the intersection. There have been conflicting reports regarding where the limo was heading, but all 18 people inside the vehicle, including the driver, were killed in the accident. In addition, two pedestrian bystanders were struck and killed by the limousine as it entered the parking lot.
Limousine Safety Standards
This is not the first fatal limousine crash that has brought attention to the issue. A collision between a limousine and a pickup truck claimed four lives back in 2015. In the aftermath of these accidents, some are questioning the current safety standards of limousines. Indeed, limos are often modified with aftermarket parts which may not be considered as safe as stock components.
One lawmaker explained that many limousines lack certain basic safety features that would be required on other passenger vehicles including the “necessary number of side impact airbags, reinforced rollover protection bars, structurally sound frames, and accessible emergency exits.” The NTSB later agreed to begin investigating limousine crashes on a case-by-case basis.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Limousine Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland limousine accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The dedicated Maryland personal injury lawyers at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have extensive experience handling all types of Maryland car accident cases, including those involving limousines, large trucks, and busses. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation today.
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Can an Accident Victim’s Failure to Wear a Seatbelt Be Used Against Them in a Maryland Car Accident Case?, Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog, published October 16, 2018.