ALBANY — The disciplinarian of a auto in the Schoharie blast that dead 20 bodies aftermost weekend was chock-full by a accompaniment trooper in Saratoga Springs in backward August and — afterwards alteration 11 bodies in the aforementioned limo — cited for operating the agent afterwards a able license, according to a badge abode acquired by the Times Union.
The abode indicates that Nauman Hussain operates the auto company, Prestige Limo, that is endemic by his father, Shahed Hussain. Nauman Hussain was fabricated acquainted that day that his employee-driver, Scott T. Lisinicchia, was not accountant to drive the ample commuter vehicle. Nauman Hussain additionally was a that the agent was not appropriately registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation, as required.
Other annal acquired by the Times Union affirm that accompaniment Department of Busline admiral had inspected the agent two added times, in March and in aboriginal September 10 canicule afterwards the cartage stop. During those inspections the board had flagged abundant assurance issues on the colossal 2001 Ford Excursion SUV, which bootless to stop at an circle and careened off a rural accompaniment artery aftermost weekend, killing two bystanders, 17 cartage in the agent and the driver.
State DOT admiral initially beneath to animadversion on the letters acquired by the Times Union but accepted backward Tuesday that the advice was accurate.
“DOT issued assorted violations on this agent and barred it from actuality acclimated as a bartering commuter carriage vehicle,” said DOT agent Joseph Morrissey. “The use of this agent as such is a arrant aperture of the law … (and) this agent should not accept been operating as a bartering agent on the road, period.”
One of the letters indicates a trooper with the Accompaniment Badge Bartering Agent Enforcement Unit chock-full the limo on the afternoon of Aug. 25 on Weibel Avenue in Saratoga Springs. Lisinicchia, who was a long-haul barter disciplinarian and had moonlighted for the limo company, told the trooper he had aloof transported about 11 cartage to Saratoga Springs for about $1,000, the abode indicates.
Lisinicchia had a CDL-A authorization that accustomed him to drive trucks but he lacked the added admittance bare to accurately drive a agent able of captivation added than 15 passengers. The badge almanac indicates that a authoritative motor carrier investigator with DOT, Martin Duffy, went to the arena to abetment and was fabricated acquainted of the problems with the agent and the driver’s credentials.
The abode indicates the agent was apprenticed to the auto company’s “place of business” for inspection, but the abode of the business was not indicated.
The trooper a Lisinicchia he was “out of service” and not acceptable to drive “any motor vehicle” for any bartering motor carrier until he acquired the able permit. He was additionally ticketed.
State Badge and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo this anniversary accepted that Lisinicchia still lacked the able admittance to accomplish the 18-passenger auto aback the blast took place. But they did not acknowledge capacity about the August cartage stop or the vehicle’s bootless inspections in March and September.
The annal acquired by the Times Union appearance the agent was apprenticed about 1,300 afar during the six-month aeon afterward the March analysis that begin abundant assurance and accompaniment busline law violations.
In that March 21 roadside analysis in Saratoga Springs, DOT cited Prestige Limousine’s Excursion for 14 assurance violations, including four advised to be austere abundant to force the agent out of account until the problems were fixed.
Inspectors begin that the Excursion had abnormal brakes, while a hydraulic anchor band was dangling and able to accomplish acquaintance with a tire, the March DOT abode states.
The added above issues cited were rear emergency exits that weren’t operating properly, and the actuality that the adapted Excursion didn’t accept the able federal acceptance characterization that should accept been added afterwards the SUV had been adapted by a third party.
Under accompaniment regulations, DOT would accept placed an out-of-service sticker on the Excursion, and it would not accept been accustomed to backpack cartage until the above violations were fixed.
However, Prestige logged 1,289 afar on the Excursion amid that March analysis and a additional analysis six months afterwards on Sept. 4.
During that September inspection, DOT admiral afresh cited Prestige with abundant violations, acquainted that abounding of the violations from the antecedent analysis had not been corrected.
“Multiple violations ahead acclaimed (on March 21 analysis report) not adapted and no affirmation of alteration provided,” the DOT abode states.
A law close in Wester County issued a account on account of Lisinicchia’s ancestors on Tuesday, adage they are assured he would accept been blind of any automated deficiencies aback he collection the agent aftermost weekend.
The account said Lisinicchia was “a admiring and caring man who never would accept advisedly put others in harm’s way. The ancestors believes that unbeknownst to him he was provided with a agent that was neither roadworthy nor safe for any of its occupants.”
State Badge agent Beau Duffy said the trooper did not accept the ascendancy to appropriate or aish the authorization plates from the Excursion afterwards the August cartage stop.
The March and September inspections additionally acclaimed that Prestige did not accept what’s accepted as “operating authority” from DOT to accomplish the agent as a bus-for-hire. It additionally afield had accouter plates instead of bus plates and that it bare to accept a accompaniment DOT bus analysis done as well.
After both inspections, Prestige was accustomed 15 canicule to accelerate a anatomy aback to the DOT active by the aggregation and a adjustment boutique adage all the violations had been corrected.
“As these questions are accompanying to an advancing bent investigation, we cannot accommodate this advice at this time,” Morrissey said.
Lee Kindlon, who is apery Prestige and its buyer in the case, Shahed Hussain, said his applicant is across for a medical action and is “heartbroken” over the tragedy.
“He said he’s sick, he’s heartbroken, he hasn’t slept,” Kindlon said. “Obviously, we don’t appetite to booty the focus abroad from aggregate the victims’ families are activity through, but the abstraction that his aggregation and his disciplinarian had annihilation to do with it is article that he’s ambidextrous with and aggravating to amount out what he can do to help.”
Kindlon said Hussain said he would acknowledgment to the United States to abet with the investigations by the Accompaniment Badge and National Busline Assurance Board.
“I anticipate there’s activity to be a timing affair because NTSB beatific me an email this morning and they appetite to (do) things appropriate away, bang, bang, bang,” Kindlon said. “So I don’t apperceive if I’d get him actuality by Friday but absolutely over the advance of the investigation, if he’s needed, he wants to accomplish himself available.”
The September analysis states that Prestige was additionally not certified beneath what’s accepted as the accompaniment Department of Motor Vehicles 19A Bus Disciplinarian Unit.
That refers to a accompaniment busline law accepted as Article 19A that accustomed appropriate requirements for bus drivers in 1974 afterwards a high-profile academy bus and alternation accident.
Article 19A requires that motor carriers who apply bus drivers backpack out medical exams, alley tests and accounting and articulate tests of their bus drivers and book an anniversary affirmation of their acquiescence with the DMV anniversary year. The DMV is declared to analysis 19A annal and almanac any violations, which can aftereffect in civilian penalties of up to $5,000 for echo offenders, according to the DMV website.
State DMV admiral won’t say if Prestige was out of acquiescence with 19A or added DMV requirements or why it didn’t accept the able bus plates or registration.
“This advice is allotment of an advancing bent analysis by the Accompaniment Badge and we cannot accommodate capacity at this time,” DMV backer Lisa Koumjian said.
Prestige appears to accept acquired the Excursion in 2016, according to a agent history abode acquired through AutoCheck.
The agent has been continuously registered as a accouter agent back it was aboriginal put on the alley as new in Rensselaer in 2001, beneath a antecedent owner.
The AutoCheck abode does not say aback the agent was adapted into a “stretch” limo to backpack 18 passengers.
Two canicule afore the blast in Schoharie, Prestige Limo listed the auto for auction on Craigslist for $9,000.
The advertisement provided a acquaintance buzz cardinal that matches the cardinal for several added companies endemic by Shahed Hussain, buyer of Prestige Limo.
The online post, which did not accept a photo, declared the agent as actuality in accomplished action with 180,000 afar and actuality “DOT ready.”
The aggregation endemic a distinct 2001 Ford Excursion, according to analysis records.
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