The driver in the fatal limousine crash that left 20 dead Saturday did not have the appropriate license to operate the vehicle, the Associated Press reports. New York state reportedly ordered the company, Prestige Limousine, to shut down while an investigation into the crash continues. The owner of Prestige served as an FBI informant in a 2009 terror plot that threatened two synagogues and an Air Force base, the New York Post reports. The vehicle also reportedly failed an inspection by the New York State DMV last month and was deemed unfit for operation. The vehicle was reportedly in such bad shape that one of the victims texted about it’s “terrible condition” just minutes before her death, The Washington Post reported.
The group of 18 friends, all adults, originally planned to take a large bus to the birthday party they were attending—but when that bus broke down, the limousine was sent as a replacement. At approximately 2 p.m. Saturday, that limo careened through a T-junction and smashed into an unoccupied SUV in the parking lot of a local country store in upstate New York, killing all 18 people in the limousine and two bystanders. It was the deadliest transportation accident in almost a decade.