NY rep mourns limo crash victims: ‘So much pain in a very small spot of the world’

NY rep mourns limo crash victims: ‘So much pain in a very small spot of the world’
© Getty Images

Rep. Paul TonkoPaul David TonkoOvernight Energy: Trump officials suspend oil, gas production on Utah plots after lawsuit | California bucks Trump on lightbulb rollback | Scientists join Dems in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule Scientists join Democrats in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule Advocates step up efforts for horse racing reform bill after more deaths MORE (D-N.Y.) late Monday mourned the victims of a deadly New York state limousine crash during a vigil attended by thousands. 

"So much pain in a very small spot of the world," Tonko told the crowd, local TV station WRGB reported.

"When we had a vision of a pedestrian bridge, I thought it would be a great stage by which to grow community," he said. "Never in that imagining that I expect that we would gather for a moment like this."


Twenty people died on Saturday after a limousine crashed into another vehicle and pedestrians near Albany, N.Y., according to local authorities. The incident was the deadliest transportation-related accident in the U.S. since 2009, the National Transportation Safety Board determined on Sunday. 

"We are crushed with you, we are crushed for you," Tonko said as mourning families and residents cried at the vigil, according to The Associated Press

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday that the driver of the limousine did not have the proper license to operate the vehicle, and the limo itself failed inspection last month with the state Department of Transportation. 

New York state has moved to shut down and investigate Prestige Limousine, the company that owns the limo, according to the AP. 

"In my opinion, the owner of this company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road," Cuomo said at an event over the weekend. "Prestige has a lot of questions to answer."

Tammy Smith, a local resident at the vigil, told WRGB that she knew four of the people killed in the accident.

"I think I screamed but I don't know if it even came out of my mouth," she said, remembering her reaction when she heard about the crash.

"My heart is sunken," Karina Halse, whose sister Amanda Halse died in the crash, said, according to the AP. "It's in a place where I've never felt this type of pain before."