Nauman Hussain arrested following crash that killed 20.
A son of the owner of the limousine company behind Saturday’s horrific crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York has been arrested.
Nauman Hussain, 28, was taken into custody on Wednesday morning and charged with criminally negligent homicide.
Hussain was arrested during a traffic stop on Interstate 787 in Waterville.
New York State Police Superintendent George Beach said Hussain had previously been issued written violations by the NYSP and the Department of Transportation noting that the ‘driver he hired should not have been operating the vehicle’ from Saturday’s crash.
‘That vehicle was placed out of service by the DOT and should not have been on the road,’ Beach said during a press conference.
On Wednesday it was revealed that Scott Lisinicchia – who was behind the wheel of the 2011 Ford Excursion before the crash – was cited for operating the same limo without a proper license by a state trooper on August 25.
The Department of Transportation contacted Hussain about the citation and Lisinicchia was told he was ‘out of service’ and could not drive ‘any motor vehicle’ for any commercial motor carrier until he got the required permit.
This week both the NYSP and Gov Andrew Cuomo confirmed that Lisinicchia still did not have the required permit when he drove the limo on Saturday.
‘He knew this,’ Beach said during a press conference on Wednesday. ‘The sole responsibility for that motor vehicle being on the road Saturday rests with Nauman Hussain.’
Beach said the criminal investigation and the investigation into the cause of Saturday’s crash continues.
Hussain’s father Shahed, who owns Prestige Limousines while Hussain manages day to day operations, is also part of the continuing investigation, according to Beach.
Shahed is currently in Pakistan for a medical operation and has ‘signaled his willingness’ to return to the US to help the investigation, according to Hussain’s lawyer Lee Kindlon.
Beach said he does not have the legal authority to ask Shahed to come back to the US.
Hussain will be arraigned this evening. While he currently only faces one charge in the 20 deaths, there is a possibility that he could face additional charges in the future after the case is sent to the Schoharie County District Attorney’s office.
His girlfriend and brother Shahyer appeared visibly upset as they left Troop G headquarters in Albany around 1pm on Wednesday. They were in the car when Hussain was pulled over and arrested.
Kindlon hit out at the NYSP during his own press conference in front of the headquarters.
‘My client is not guilty. The police jumped the gun,’ he told reporters.
‘Even the most simple investigation done well takes months,’ he said. ‘The time frame [for this investigation] has been compressed.’
Kindlon reiterated his claims that the blame for the horrific crash should lie on the intersection, which was notorious among locals for being a hot spot for accidents.
‘This road was a problem, a known problem to the state of New York,’ he said. ‘The state has done a wonderful job at pointing the camera at the Hussain family.’
‘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? Is this day meant as a distractor in terms of what the state of New York knew and when they knew it?’
‘They need to find out why New York chose to not fix this road when they had the opportunity.’
Locals revealed this week that the intersection of State Route 30 and State Route 30A is notoriously dangerous, seeing four crashes since 2008.
Lisinicchia blasted through a stop sign at the intersection and struck and killed two pedestrians in the parking lot of a popular store before crashing into a shallow ravine.