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Prestige Limo operator pleads guilty, gets no jail time

Sep 03, 2021 5:45 am

Larry Rulison is reporting for the Times Union following repeated delays, Nauman Hussain [NOW-man Hoo-SANE] Sept. 2, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide charges. The plea was the first time the operator of Prestige Limousine admitted that his failure to maintain his stretch limousine led to the Oct. 6, 2018, crash that killed 20 people, the 18 in the vehicle as well as two pedestrians. The crash remains the nation’s deadliest transportation disaster in more than 10 years. Under the terms of the plea deal, Hussain will serve no prison time. The agreement was negotiated by his attorney, Lee Kindlon, and Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery. Hussain agreed to plead guilty to 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide in exchange for five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service that will include public speaking appearances. And he will be barred from working in the transportation industry. During the proceedings, one by one, the victims' names were read out by Judge George Bartlett III as he asked Hussain if he caused each death. "Yes," Hussain answered 20 times. People could be heard sobbing. One woman said, "He killed 20 people — f__ this" before court officials prompted her to leave. The hearing was held at a local school to accommodate the huge crowd of family and friends of the victims of the crash. The 31-year-old Hussain is likely to be the only person to ever face criminal charges in the case. The limousine was rented to take its passengers to a birthday celebration in Cooperstown. Hussain allegedly ignored warnings from the state Department of Transportation that the Excursion he was renting out was dangerous. It repeatedly failed safety inspections and lacked state and federal certifications. Read the full story in the Times Union.