A limousine loaded with revelers bound for a 30th birthday celebration blew through a stop sign at the end of a highway and slammed into a parked SUV outside a store, killing all 18 people in the limo and two pedestrians in the deadliest U.S. transportation accident in nearly a decade, officials and victims’ relatives said Sunday.

The collision turned a relaxed Saturday afternoon into chaos at an upstate New York spot popular with tourists taking in the fall foliage. Relatives said the limousine was carrying four sisters and their friends to a birthday celebration for the youngest.

Flowers are placed at a roadside memorial at the scene of Saturday’s fatal limousine crash in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. A limousine loaded with revelers headed to a 30th birthday party blew a stop sign at the end of a highway and slammed into an SUV parked outside a store, killing all people in the limo and a few pedestrians, officials and relatives of the victims said Sunday. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Friends of victims that died in a fatal limousine crash comfort each other after placing flowers at the intersection in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

“They did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn’t have to drive anywhere,” their aunt, Barbara Douglas, told reporters Sunday. She said three of the sisters were with their husbands and identified them as Amy and Axel Steenburg, Abigail and Adam Jackson, Mary and Rob Dyson and Allison King.

Friends of victims who died in Saturday’s fatal limousine crash comfort each other after placing flowers at the intersection in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. A limousine loaded with revelers headed to a 30th birthday party blew a stop sign at the end of a highway and slammed into an SUV parked outside a store, killing all people in the limo and a few pedestrians, officials and relatives of the victims said Sunday. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
A New York state trooper and a member of the National Transportation Safety Board view the scene of Saturday’s fatal crash in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

Douglas said the couples had several children between them who they left at home.

“They were wonderful girls,” Douglas said. “They’d do anything for you and they were very close to each other and they loved their family.”

Barbara Douglas of Danamora, N.Y., reacts while talking about her four family members who died in Saturday’s fatal crash in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Barbara Douglas, of Danamora, N.Y., talks to reporters about her four family members who died in Saturday’s fatal limousine crash in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Recovery crews remove debris from the scene of a fatal crash, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, where a limousine crashed into a parked and unoccupied SUV killing 20 people at an intersection a day earlier, in Schoharie, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
A woman kneels after placing flowers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, at the scene where 20 people died as the result of a limousine crashing into a parked and unoccupied SUV at an intersection a day earlier, in Schoharie, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
People place flowers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, at the scene where 20 people died as the result of a limousine crashing into a parked and unoccupied SUV at an intersection a day earlier, in Schoharie, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
People place flowers, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, at the scene where 20 people died as the result of a limousine crashing into a parked and unoccupied SUV at an intersection a day earlier, in Schoharie, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Members of the National Transportation Safety Board work at the scene of yesterday’s fatal crash, in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Members of the National Transportation Safety Board work at the scene of yesterday’s fatal crash, in Schoharie, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Debris scatters an area Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, at the site of yesterday’s fatal crash Schoharie, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Debris scatters an area Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, at the site of yesterday’s fatal crash Schoharie, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
In this Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 photo, a body is draped under a blanket at the scene of a fatal crash in Schoharie, N.Y. (Tom Heffernan Sr. via AP)
In this Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 photo, a limousine, left, has landed in the woods following a fatal crash in Schoharie, N.Y. (Tom Heffernan Sr. via AP)
In this Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 photo, emergency personnel respond to the scene of a deadly crash in Schoharie, N.Y. (WTEN via AP)
All 18 people in the limo and two pedestrians were killed.
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.

Source: AP

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