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The widow of the limousine driver involved in a New York crash that killed 20 people says her husband expressed concerns about the company’s vehicles.
“He did complain. There were a few times where he told me, like, I overheard him say, ‘I’m not going to drive this like this. You need to give me another car,'” Kim Lisinicchia told CBS News of her husband, Scott, 53, in an interview on Wednesday.
Lisinicchia said her husband was reassured by Prestige Limousine, where he had worked part-time for more than a year, that the cars were safe to drive.
“He trusted in what the limo company said, that the cars were alright,” Lisinicchia said.
Lisinicchia’s husband was behind the wheel of the limo on Saturday when it failed to stop at a T-intersection in Schoharie, New York, officials said. The limo careened through the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe, hitting an unoccupied SUV that struck and killed two pedestrians before going down a ravine.
All 18 people in the limo, including Scott Lisinicchia, died in the crash.
On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said not only had the vehicle involved in the crash failed a safety inspection last month, but that Scott Lisinicchia did not have the proper license — a commercial driver’s license with a passenger endorsement — to operate the limo.
Lisinicchia was given a ticket by a state trooper for not having that license in August, according to the Albany Times Union. Lisinicchia was driving the same limo that crashed on Saturday during that stop.
On Wednesday, his wife said that even if her husband had correctly licensed, she feels he still would have been blamed.
She added that she felt Prestige Limousine should have been more responsible with their vehicles.
“You have a company where you have people’s lives in your hands. That’s unacceptable,” Lisinicchia said.
In a statement to NBC News, the Kindlon Law Firm, which represents Prestige Limousine, said: “We respect the family and their process of grief. Mr. Lisinicchia was a dear friend and dedicated driver and we, too, mourn because he is gone. At this time, we are putting our trust in the investigations in order to answer all the questions of causation and fault.”
Lisinicchia told CBS News that her husband was in excellent health and an “excellent driver,” adding that he drove a tractor-trailer for more than 20 years.
She added that she sympathized with the families of the victims, but felt the need to defend her husband.
“I have to say, I feel for these victims, I feel for them. I am in no way trying to make it seem like it’s about me or my husband. I just want my husband to be vindicated. I have to stand for him cause nobody else will,” she said.