One of the victims killed in a horrific upstate New York's deadly limousine crash on Saturday allegedly texted her cousin to say the vehicle was in "terrible condition," prior to the accident that left 20 people dead.
Valerie Abeling, the aunt of victim Erin McGowan, who died along with her new husband, Shane McGowan, said Erin sent her daughter a message complaining about the state of the car just 20 minutes before the crash.
“The vehicle appeared in terrible condition,” Abeling told The Washington Post, remembering a text sent by Erin.
The group, on their way to a 30th birthday party at a brewery in Cooperstown, New York, was supposed to take a bus to the party, but that vehicle had broken down en route to the event, the Post reported. So the limo was sent as a replacement.
Twenty people, including all 18 in the limo and two pedestrians, were killed after the car apparently blew through a stop sign and hit a parked SUV outside a crowded store Saturday afternoon. The limo was estimated to have been going above 60 mph, according to witnesses.
The crash "sounded like an explosion," witness Linda Riley, who was shopping with her sisters at the time, told The Associated Press. The incident is the U.S.'s deadliest transportation accident since a 2009 plane crash that killed 50.
Family members are devastated. "These were friends just starting their lives, getting married and this is how it ended," Abeling told the Post.
"It’s a tragic loss of beautiful souls."