A son of the owner of the limousine that crashed Saturday in Schoharie, killing 20 people, was arrested on a negligent homicide charge Wednesday.
State Police said Nauman Hussain’s limousine failed an inspection last month and should not have been on the road when it crashed at the intersection of routes 30 and 30A. Hussain, 28, was also aware that the driver he hired to drive the limousine, Scott T. Lisinicchia, was not properly licensed for that assignment.
“The sole responsibility for that motor vehicle being on the road that Saturday belongs to Nauman Hussain,” State Police Superintendent George Beach said Wednesday afternoon.
Hussain was taken into custody after state troopers stopped his vehicle on Interstate 787 Wednesday. Hussain was charged with criminally negligent homicide. He will be arraigned in Schoharie County later Wednesday.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison. A judge could impose consecutive sentences if Hussain is eventually convicted of multiple charges.
Lisinicchia was driving an SUV-style stretch limousine with 17 passengers bound for a party at Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown. Everyone in the limo and two people standing outside the Apple Barrel County Store died when the limousine rolled through the stop sign at the intersection, hit a parked car and slammed into an embankment.
Nauman Hussain is the son of Prestige Limo owner Shahed Hussain. The younger man, who has operated the limo company, met with State Police investigators for several hours on Monday. He was accompanied at that interview by Lee Kindlon, an Albany attorney who represents Nauman Hussain and his father.
The elder Hussain is out of the country but would return if asked by law enforcement, Kindlon said
Kindlon said police “jumped the gun” with the arrest, saying prosecutors told him Tuesday that it could take weeks to decide whether charges would be filed.
“Clearly, they are coming together to bring charges,” he said.
Hussain’s brother Shahyer Hussain and a woman left the barracks shortly before 1 p.m. and appeared to be upset. Surrounded by reporters and photographers, they silently walked to a pickup truck and drove off.
The Wilton-based company owned the 2001 Ford Excursion that crashed at the intersection of routes 30 and 30A shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday. The out-of-control limo with 18 people on board crashed into the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Store, killing two people in the packed lot before slamming into an embankment.
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SOURCE: Albany Times Union – Robert Gavin