New York State Police say the operator of the limousine company involved in Saturday’s crash in Schoharie that killed 20 people has been arrested.
Troopers said Wednesday 28-year-old Nauman Hussain of Cohoes was taken into custody following a traffic stop on I-787 and charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide. New York State Police Superintendent George Beach: "Hussain, the operator of Prestige Limo in Saratoga County, was issued written violations by the New York State Police, and the New York State Department of Transportaton, that the driver he hired should not have been operating the type of vehicle involved in Saturday's crash. Also, that vehicle was placed out of service by the Department of Transportation in September of this year and should not have been on the road. Husain will be arraigned this evening in Schoharie County and a judge will determine possible bail or bond at that time. The criminal investigation into the crash continues, along with the investigation into the cause of Saturday's crash."
The charging document has one count, but lists all 20 victims— two bystanders, 17 limo passengers and the driver. Beach noted that any changes to that will be done with the consent and on the direction of the Schoharie County District Attorney. Beach says State Police Forensic Investigation and Collison Reconstruction units continue to examine the limousine.
Speaking on Spectrum News, Prestige Limousine’s attorney Lee Kindlon said earlier Wednesday his client could face multiple charges. But he also pointed to the state Department of Transportation. "I know at this time the victims' families probably don't want to hear me telling them exactly what to do, but a notice of claim is due within 90 days of the incident. They need to find out what the state of New York knew and when they knew it, and why New York chose not to fix this road when they had the opportunity," he said. "So yes, could there be some fault with Prestige? Could there be some fault here? Absolutely. Is it criminal? Absolutely not. What about the state of New York?"
Shahed Hussain, Nauman's father, owns the company and is currently in Pakistan. Kindlon said Wednesday Shahed runs the company and its day-to-day operations. State Police identified Nauman as the “operator.”
Kindlon said problems with the vehicle had been corrected. Again, George Beach: "The sole responsibility for that motor vehicle being on the road on Saturday rests with Nauman Hussain."
The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate.