Limo manager convicted of manslaughter for upstate New York crash that killed 20

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The manager of a limo company was convicted of manslaughter Wednesday for his role in an upstate New York crash that killed 20 people in 2018. It’s considered one of the deadliest U.S. road wrecks of the past two decades.

The Oct. 6, 2018 crash occurred when the brakes failed on a 31-foot stretch-style 2001 Ford Excursion ferrying passengers to a birthday party, hitting a parked car and trees before careening through a parking lot outside the Apple Barrel Cafe and crashing into an embankment in Schoharie, about 25 miles west of Albany. Before the crash, the five-ton limo was going more than 100 mph. The 17 passengers, the driver and two bystanders in the parking lot were killed.

Investigators later learned the vehicle failed because of “the neglect of mandated commercial vehicle inspections and maintenance by company personnel.” It was also revealed that driver Scott Lisinicchia was not licensed to operate a limo that size.

Nauman Hussain, who ran Prestige Limousine, was charged with criminally negligent homicide and second-degree manslaughter.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that Hussain intentionally failed to conduct mandated, routine state inspections on the vehicle that would have revealed the brake failure issues and prevented the crash. The defense argued that repair shop Mavis Discount Tires — which has not been criminally charged — was at fault.

The victims’ family members filed a civil suit against Mavis, which allegedly never replaced the brakes.

The jury deliberated for less than six hours and on Wednesday found Hussain, 33, guilty on 20 counts of second-degree manslaughter.

Hussain, who was taken into custody after the verdict was read, is scheduled to be sentenced May 31 and faces up to 15 years in prison. The verdict comes eight months after a judge rejected a plea deal in which Hussain would not have faced prison time.