New York limo driver’s wife says husband complained about company’s vehicles before deadly crash

The wife of the limousine driver who was behind the wheel during Saturday's deadly crash in upstate New York said her husband had complained about the company’s vehicles -- and she feels he’s now being unfairly blamed for the horrific tragedy in which he and 19 others died.

Kim Lisinicchia told CBS News she heard her husband, Scott Lisinicchia, complain to Prestige Limousine about the conditions of the cars he would be driving. Scott had been working as a part-time driver for the company for more than a year when he failed to stop at a T-intersection in Schoharie, an error that resulted in the deaths of Lisinicchia and 17 others in the limousine. Two bystanders were also struck and killed.

"[My husband] did complain. 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,'" Kim said in an interview that aired Wednesday.

Kim Lisinicchia said her husband Scott Lisinicchia previously complained about Prestige Limousine's vehicles before Saturday's deadly crash.

Kim Lisinicchia said her husband Scott Lisinicchia previously complained about Prestige Limousine's vehicles before Saturday's deadly crash.

But she said, despite Scott's complaints, her husband didn’t know the vehicles he was driving were faulty.

“He trusted in what the limo company said, that the cars were alright," she said. "But, please, I have to say, I feel for these victims, I feel for them...I am in no way trying to make it seem like it’s about me or my husband. I just want my husband to be vindicated...I have to stand for him 'cause nobody else will."

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She said Scott was in “excellent health” and was an “excellent driver.”

“For over 20-plus years he drove a tractor-trailer," she said.

Members of Scott's family released a statement earlier this week through an attorney stating the 53-year-old would never have "knowingly put others in harm's way" and cautioned against jumping to conclusions.

State police say 20 people died in a crash in upstate New York that local officials say involved a limousine near a crowded tourist spot.

State police say 20 people died in a crash in upstate New York that local officials say involved a limousine near a crowded tourist spot. (AP)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that Scott did not have the appropriate license to operate a limousine at the time of the deadly crash, and the Albany Times Union reported Wednesday that Lisinicchia was stopped in late August and cited for operating the same limousine without a proper license. The driver had a license to operate trucks, but not one to drive a vehicle for 15 passengers or more.

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Prestige Limousine was made aware of the license issue shortly after the incident, the report stated.

Family members and friends gather for a candlelight vigil memorial at Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam, N.Y., Monday.

Family members and friends gather for a candlelight vigil memorial at Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam, N.Y., Monday. (AP)

The limousine also recently failed a safety inspection and had been flagged for safety issues, according to Cuomo, who said the car should have never been on the road.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.