The son of a limousine company owner has been charged with criminally negligent homicide in connection with the deadly crash that left 20 people dead, including the driver, over the weekend.
Nauman Hussain, who ran Prestige Limousine, was taken into custody Wednesday morning, USA Today reported.
"My client is not guilty. Police jumped the gun in bringing charges," Lee Kindlon, Hussain's attorney, told reporters.
The company is owned by Hussain's father, Shahed Hussain.
The crash is being investigated as a criminal case after authorities found the same 2001 Ford Excursion driven at the time of the horrific crash had already been stopped by police in August, reports said.
During that stop, Scott Lisinicchia, who was driving at the time of the crash, was cited for operating without a proper license. State police said they told Lisinicchia and the company that the vehicle could not operate again without the proper licensing.
Lisinicchia’s wife, Kim, said her husband has been unnecessarily vilified in the aftermath of the crash.
"I don't know what that's about," Kim said. "Because ... even if he didn't have the proper license, this still would've happened and I feel like he still would have got blamed."
Prestige had reportedly been cited for 22 violations in the last 24 months.
"He did complain,” Kim said of her husband. "There were a few times where he told me, like I overheard him say, 'I'm not going to drive this, like this, you need to give me another car.'"
The limousine involved in the crash also failed two state inspections, in March and September, the state Department of Transportation said.
The department said the owner was warned not to operate the vehicle and it was placed out of service after the failed inspection.
On Saturday, Lisinicchia reportedly blew through a stop sign and crashed the vehicle into an unoccupied car, killing two pedestrians before landing in a ditch. All 18 occupants inside of the limo died as well.
The limo had been being rented for a 30th birthday party.
"We respect the family and their process of grief,” Prestige Limousine said in a statement addressing Lisinicchia’s death. “Mr. Lisinicchia was a dear friend and dedicated driver and we, too, mourn because he is gone. At this time, we are putting our trust in the investigations in order to answer all the questions of causation and fault."