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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS News) — The widow of the limo driver in the crash that left 20 people dead is speaking out.
Although authorities have not yet determined the cause of the crash, Kim Lisinicchia told CBS News’ DeMarco Morgan she believes her husband is being improperly blamed for the crash.
Scott Lisinicchia was behind the wheel of the limo when it careened through a stop sign, struck a park car, and hurtled down a hill. Twenty people, including Scott Lisinicchia, died in the crash. According to authorities, he did not have the proper type of license to operate the vehicle, which officials said also failed an inspection just last month.
“It has been so difficult because I think about him every day,” Kim Lisinicchia told Morgan. The last time she spoke with him was Saturday morning before he went to work. She initially grew concerned when she hadn’t heard from him.
“I didn’t hear from him for about three hours, and that was odd to me,” she said.
Concerned, she said she called Scott’s boss.
“And he said ‘I’m glad you called me, because there was an accident,’” she said.
Morgan asked if her husband had any medical conditions.
“He was in excellent health. He was an excellent driver. For over 20-plus years, he drove a tractor-trailer. That’s why I know something was wrong,” she said.
Lisinicchia suggested the blame for the crash was related to the vehicle, not her husband’s lack of the proper license.
“Even if he did have the proper license, this still would’ve happened and I feel like he still would have got blamed,” she said, and went on to say that he had complained to the company about the condition of their vehicles.
“They should have been more responsible. You have a company where you have people’s lives in your hands. That’s unacceptable,” she said, adding that her husband had previously complained about the condition of some of the vehicles. “There were a few times where he told me, like, I overheard him say, ‘I’m not going to drive this, you need to give me another car.’”
Kim Lisinicchia said that her husband relied on the company’s assertions that the vehicles were safe to drive.
“I have to say, I feel for these victims, I feel for them,” she said. “I am in no way trying to make it seem like its about me or my husband. I just want my husband to be vindicated. I have to stand for him ’cause nobody else will.”
“We respect the family and their process of grief,” Presitge Limousine said in a statement to CBS News. “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.”
On Tuesday, attorneys for Kim Lisinicchia released a statement saying they think he was given a bad vehicle to drive.
“The Lisinicchia family is devastated by the horrific tragedy that occurred in Scoharie and their prayers go out to all the families that lost loved ones,” the statement said. “Mrs. Lisinicchia’s husband Scott was a loving and caring man who never would have knowingly put others in harm’s way. The family believes that unbeknownst to him he was provided with a vehicle that was neither roadworthy nor safe for any of its occupants.”