AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

New rules for political content in signatures and user profiles. See this thread for details.

Author Topic: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead  (Read 6842 times)

cpzilliacus

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10272
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Maryland
  • Last Login: August 20, 2019, 07:54:31 PM
Logged
Opinions expressed here on AAROADS are strictly personal and mine alone, and do not reflect policies or positions of MWCOG, NCRTPB or their member federal, state, county and municipal governments or any other agency.

tradephoric

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1915
  • Last Login: Today at 03:23:40 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2018, 07:10:51 PM »

Horrific... here is a google maps link of the crash location:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.7004044,-74.3016601,170m/data=!3m1!1e3
Logged

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2833
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 08:05:48 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2018, 07:18:08 PM »

Since NTSB is involved in the investigation, there may be some interesting outcomes.
First aspect I think they need to look at is a stretched limo approach. I didn't realize those are aftermarket stretches of regular-size cars, and that may very well be a contributing factor - possibly brakes just couldn't handle a heavier vehicle in a hilly area.
Second one - and I hope there will be something done here! - is NYSDOT approach to road design. "It worked 50 years ago, so there is no problem" is not a good approach to design. Too bad it may mean more roundabouts, but maybe they will finally get some qualified people.
Logged

Jim

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4116
  • Check out http://travelmapping.net

  • Location: Amsterdam, NY
  • Last Login: Today at 09:56:03 PM
    • Travel and Other Pictures
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2018, 07:44:20 PM »

I'm very familiar with that location, being only about 20 miles south of here.  It's not a good setup.

From what I've heard, 17 of the victims were passengers in the limo and all of them came from in or near my hometown and current home in Amsterdam.  I doubt Amsterdam has featured so prominently in the national and international news since the Thruway bridge collapse just west of here 30 years ago.  It's obviously going to be a tough time for a lot of people around here.  Just about everyone's going to know some of the victims or people close to them.
Logged
Photos I post are my own unless otherwise noted.
Signs: http://www.teresco.org/pics/signs/
Travel Mapping: http://travelmapping.net/user/?u=terescoj
Counties: http://www.mob-rule.com/user/terescoj
Twitter @JimTeresco (roads, travel, weather, sports)

abefroman329

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3151
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Chicago
  • Last Login: April 29, 2019, 05:55:26 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2018, 07:46:40 PM »

First aspect I think they need to look at is a stretched limo approach. I didn't realize those are aftermarket stretches of regular-size cars, and that may very well be a contributing factor - possibly brakes just couldn't handle a heavier vehicle in a hilly area.
Yeah, Iím assuming there were so many fatalities because the passengers werenít wearing seatbelts, but I wonder if there were even seatbelts installed. I also wonder if the driver shouldíve had a CDL - I thought there was a federal law that you needed one to drive a vehicle that could hold more than 15 passengers, but I donít know if limos are exempt.

This whole thing is tragic, made me think of the bridal party that died when their limo caught fire on the Oakland Bay Bridge.
Logged

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2833
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 08:05:48 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2018, 07:54:06 PM »

First aspect I think they need to look at is a stretched limo approach. I didn't realize those are aftermarket stretches of regular-size cars, and that may very well be a contributing factor - possibly brakes just couldn't handle a heavier vehicle in a hilly area.
Yeah, Iím assuming there were so many fatalities because the passengers werenít wearing seatbelts, but I wonder if there were even seatbelts installed. I also wonder if the driver shouldíve had a CDL - I thought there was a federal law that you needed one to drive a vehicle that could hold more than 15 passengers, but I donít know if limos are exempt.

This whole thing is tragic, made me think of the bridal party that died when their limo caught fire on the Oakland Bay Bridge.
NYS class E (taxi-limo) license allows operation up to 14 pax. With 17 or 18 people in the limo, it should be a CDL driver only. 
Logged

Beltway

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5188
  • Roads to the Future

  • Location: Richmond, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 10:34:55 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2018, 09:35:45 PM »

How in the world did that many people die Ö did someone have a submachine gun?
Logged
http://www.roadstothefuture.com
http://www.capital-beltway.com
On the Plains of Hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the Dawn of Victory, sat down to wait, and waiting died.

cpzilliacus

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10272
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Maryland
  • Last Login: August 20, 2019, 07:54:31 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2018, 09:45:40 PM »

More from the Times-Union: Four sisters, newlyweds celebrating birthday among 20 killed in Schoharie limo crash

Quote
Erin and Shane McGowan were just starting their life together after five months of marriage when they climbed into a limousine to celebrate their friend Amy's 30th birthday. The ride ended in the nation's deadliest transportation disaster since 2009, killing the McGowans and 18 others when the limousine crashed into the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Store in Schoharie on Saturday afternoon.

Quote
"They just decided to rent a limousine and have fun and not worry about everything," Erin's uncle Anthony Vertucci told the Times Union on Sunday.
Logged
Opinions expressed here on AAROADS are strictly personal and mine alone, and do not reflect policies or positions of MWCOG, NCRTPB or their member federal, state, county and municipal governments or any other agency.

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2833
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 08:05:48 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2018, 10:19:38 PM »

How in the world did that many people die Ö did someone have a submachine gun?
Vehicle flying through a stop sign of a T intersection converting it to an X. Flying through a parking lot, hitting other cars and people, and throwing passengers all over the place, likely no seatbelts. Probably a rollover on top of everything else to crash whoever was inside. No machine gun required....
Logged

froggie

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10701
  • Location: Greensboro, VT
  • Last Login: Today at 10:41:52 PM
    • Froggie's Place
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2018, 10:40:13 PM »

Taking a quick look at elevation, it's an approximately 7.5% grade for the bottom half-mile (basically 200 feet drop in that half mile).

Besides posting a warning sign at the top of the hill saying there's a stop sign at the bottom of the hill or putting some rumble strips in on the downhill side, I'm not sure what could be done to "improve" the intersection.  Smoothing the turn or the hill out would require money and right-of-way that NYSDOT just doesn't have.
Logged

cpzilliacus

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10272
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Maryland
  • Last Login: August 20, 2019, 07:54:31 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2018, 10:43:31 PM »

NYS class E (taxi-limo) license allows operation up to 14 pax. With 17 or 18 people in the limo, it should be a CDL driver only.

The national definition I have read says that up to or including 15 passengers (and 1 driver) does not need a CDL.  Above 15 passengers needs a CDL with P endorsement.
Logged
Opinions expressed here on AAROADS are strictly personal and mine alone, and do not reflect policies or positions of MWCOG, NCRTPB or their member federal, state, county and municipal governments or any other agency.

seicer

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1282
  • Last Login: Today at 10:50:31 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2018, 10:51:25 PM »

From some reports, the limo was barreling down the hill at a high rate of speed. Having driven that a few times before, it's just a long but not steep downgrade from 1100' to around 650'. There are two hill grade signs at the top of the hill going westbound and another mid-way down. Towards the base is a reduced speed 50 MPH sign followed by a stop ahead sign. Which is odd - why reduce the speed limit from 55 MPH to 50 MPH just before the stop? And why not identify the stop ahead way before - say, at the top of the hill? NYDOT does this in other areas - warning of a stop sign at the base of a hill or of sharp grades/curves (e.g. all around Ithaca), and PENNDOT does this many times over with those gigantic diagrammatic signs.

I won't fault anyone at this point. The driver could have had his brakes failing. It was a SUV modified into a limo - so the brakes could have been underpowered and failed in the downhill, or were already hot and were failing. Or the driver could have been inattentive. And if you are going down the hill at 60 MPH, and you see the stop sign too late, you are just going to barrel across the road into the woods.

--

EDIT: I just noticed in the streetview that NY 30 is banned to commercial vehicles / trucks, with three very obvious signs placed in a row (https://goo.gl/maps/LzZ79hYUmzA2). This would prohibit the limo.
Logged

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2833
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 08:05:48 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2018, 10:55:03 PM »

Taking a quick look at elevation, it's an approximately 7.5% grade for the bottom half-mile (basically 200 feet drop in that half mile).

Besides posting a warning sign at the top of the hill saying there's a stop sign at the bottom of the hill or putting some rumble strips in on the downhill side, I'm not sure what could be done to "improve" the intersection.  Smoothing the turn or the hill out would require money and right-of-way that NYSDOT just doesn't have.
I drove through that spot a few times and vaguely remember that stop sign shows up with little warning. Probably fact that designated road, NY 30, makes a 90 deg turn there contributes to confusion.
The entire area, basically a valley between mountains, needs a bit of attention. So yes, warnings and signage, probably not much else.

NYS class E (taxi-limo) license allows operation up to 14 pax. With 17 or 18 people in the limo, it should be a CDL driver only.

The national definition I have read says that up to or including 15 passengers (and 1 driver) does not need a CDL.  Above 15 passengers needs a CDL with P endorsement.
Either way it is CDL. Until they were cutting corners and put 17 pax in 14 pax vehicle.
Logged

Jim

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4116
  • Check out http://travelmapping.net

  • Location: Amsterdam, NY
  • Last Login: Today at 09:56:03 PM
    • Travel and Other Pictures
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2018, 11:15:14 PM »

"Truck 30" was designated to follow NY 7 to NY 30A, bypassing that steep downhill segment, I'd guess several years ago now.  I wouldn't be surprised if NY 30 mainline is routed that same way after this, truncating NY 30A to its NY 7 junction.  I've driven up and down that hill many times and really enjoy the ride.  But if you have a problem on the way down, whether it's mechanical failure, driver inattention, or driver incapacitation (which is the theory flying through the local rumor mill, no idea if that's reliable), it's bad news at the bottom.
Logged
Photos I post are my own unless otherwise noted.
Signs: http://www.teresco.org/pics/signs/
Travel Mapping: http://travelmapping.net/user/?u=terescoj
Counties: http://www.mob-rule.com/user/terescoj
Twitter @JimTeresco (roads, travel, weather, sports)

J N Winkler

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6312
  • Location: Wichita, Kansas/Oxford, Great Britain
  • Last Login: Today at 10:46:12 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2018, 12:00:27 AM »

I wonder if the powerplant could have been a factor.  The Ford Excursion is available with a diesel engine.

Looking at the NY 30 downhill descent in StreetView, I cannot imagine that I would not downshift to a lower gear to hold a steady speed on the hill while keeping the brakes cool, and this strategy has worked well in every gasoline-powered car I have driven.  But if the limo was diesel-powered, compression braking may not have been readily available to the driver.
Logged
"It is necessary to spend a hundred lire now to save a thousand lire later."--Piero Puricelli, explaining the need for a first-class road system to Benito Mussolini

cpzilliacus

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10272
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Maryland
  • Last Login: August 20, 2019, 07:54:31 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2018, 12:26:08 AM »

I wonder if the powerplant could have been a factor.  The Ford Excursion is available with a diesel engine.

Looking at the NY 30 downhill descent in StreetView, I cannot imagine that I would not downshift to a lower gear to hold a steady speed on the hill while keeping the brakes cool, and this strategy has worked well in every gasoline-powered car I have driven.  But if the limo was diesel-powered, compression braking may not have been readily available to the driver.

My pickup truck is based on  the same chassis as the crashed vehicle  (though I think the vehicle in the wreck is a year or two newer than 2001). 

My  truck has the 7.3L tuboDiesel engine with a 6-speed manual, and downshifting it will definitely slow things down. 

But the crashed vehicle probably had an automatic with a 6.0 turboDiesel (or perhaps a gas engine), but I  think it reasonable to assume that downshifting the automatic would have slowed it down at least somewhat.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 12:48:14 AM by cpzilliacus »
Logged
Opinions expressed here on AAROADS are strictly personal and mine alone, and do not reflect policies or positions of MWCOG, NCRTPB or their member federal, state, county and municipal governments or any other agency.

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2833
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 08:05:48 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2018, 12:48:08 AM »

I EDIT: I just noticed in the streetview that NY 30 is banned to commercial vehicles / trucks, with three very obvious signs placed in a row (https://goo.gl/maps/LzZ79hYUmzA2). This would prohibit the limo.
Street view shows pictorial R5-2 sign "no trucks". There is a different, text only, R5-4 sign "no commercial vehicles". So no, limo is not a truck and is allowed to go.
Logged

cpzilliacus

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10272
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Maryland
  • Last Login: August 20, 2019, 07:54:31 PM
Logged
Opinions expressed here on AAROADS are strictly personal and mine alone, and do not reflect policies or positions of MWCOG, NCRTPB or their member federal, state, county and municipal governments or any other agency.

Beltway

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5188
  • Roads to the Future

  • Location: Richmond, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 10:34:55 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2018, 01:10:56 AM »

How in the world did that many people die … did someone have a submachine gun?
Vehicle flying through a stop sign of a T intersection converting it to an X. Flying through a parking lot, hitting other cars and people, and throwing passengers all over the place, likely no seatbelts. Probably a rollover on top of everything else to crash whoever was inside. No machine gun required....

So what did it hit?  A fixed object?  A larger vehicle(s)?  That is a rather tremendous impact needed to kill 20 people.
Logged
http://www.roadstothefuture.com
http://www.capital-beltway.com
On the Plains of Hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the Dawn of Victory, sat down to wait, and waiting died.

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2833
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 08:05:48 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2018, 07:27:50 AM »

How in the world did that many people die Ö did someone have a submachine gun?
Vehicle flying through a stop sign of a T intersection converting it to an X. Flying through a parking lot, hitting other cars and people, and throwing passengers all over the place, likely no seatbelts. Probably a rollover on top of everything else to crash whoever was inside. No machine gun required....

So what did it hit?  A fixed object?  A larger vehicle(s)?  That is a rather tremendous impact needed to kill 20 people.
There are no close up pics of the wreck. There are pictures and reports of bodies on the ground.
There are few pics of a tree with fresh cut branches. Initial reports were about victims flown to a hospital, but no mention of anyone in a hospital, all occupants and 2 people on the ground are dead
Forme this adds up to vehicle broken open and scattering occupants all over the place at 50 mph and stopping at a tree with tree branches penetrating the cabin.
Since this is a long stretch limo, thing breaing in half is not beyond imagination.
Logged

seicer

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1282
  • Last Login: Today at 10:50:31 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2018, 08:03:41 AM »

It apparently slammed into an unoccupied vehicle and two pedestrians before barreling into the underbrush/forest.
Logged

Beltway

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5188
  • Roads to the Future

  • Location: Richmond, VA
  • Last Login: Today at 10:34:55 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2018, 08:06:43 AM »

I just suspected that it hit some kind of large and immovable object(s) or very large vehicle,  that caused severe deceleration G-forces, to cause that kind of nonsurvivable crash with that many fatalities.


« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 08:09:57 AM by Beltway »
Logged
http://www.roadstothefuture.com
http://www.capital-beltway.com
On the Plains of Hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the Dawn of Victory, sat down to wait, and waiting died.

kalvado

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2833
  • Location: upstate NY
  • Last Login: Today at 08:05:48 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2018, 08:20:55 AM »

I just suspected that it hit some kind of large and immovable object(s) or very large vehicle,  that caused severe deceleration G-forces, to cause that kind of nonsurvivable crash with that many fatalities.
Doesn't look that way. My guts feeling are that a regular car with people buckled up would give at least some survival chances to occupants (not pedestrians). But I don't think these limos are crash tested and may have some nasty failure modes.
Logged

abefroman329

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3151
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Chicago
  • Last Login: April 29, 2019, 05:55:26 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2018, 08:49:02 AM »

I just suspected that it hit some kind of large and immovable object(s) or very large vehicle,  that caused severe deceleration G-forces, to cause that kind of nonsurvivable crash with that many fatalities.
Doesn't look that way. My guts feeling are that a regular car with people buckled up would give at least some survival chances to occupants (not pedestrians). But I don't think these limos are crash tested and may have some nasty failure modes.
Yeah, those are my thoughts as well. Will be interesting to see what it means for stretch limos in the future.
Logged

seicer

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1282
  • Last Login: Today at 10:50:31 PM
Re: Fatal crash in Schoharie, New York - 20 persons dead
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2018, 09:05:27 AM »

Some of the victims: https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-york-limousine-crash-victims-included-newlyweds-brothers

Then there is now this, the limo was in a "terrible condition": https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-york-crash-victim-text-messaged-that-limo-was-in-terrible-condition-before-accident-killed-20

And in another article, local officials were bemoaning about how dangerous the intersection was and rattling off about tractor-trailers (everyone's favorite punching bag, it seems). Except trucks were banned, perhaps after the intersection was cleaned up several years ago?

Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.