Ominous signs crash victims may have been concerned about limo

Shahed Hussain

The owner of a limousine company in the crash that killed 20 people in upstate ny on Saturday afternoon was Monday identified as Shahed Hussain, a Pakistani immigrant, who is now out of the United States, according to American media reports citing police officials.

Shahed Hussain, 62, who runs rental firm Prestige Limousines, is thought to split his time between the Emirates, the U.S. and his native Pakistan.

A third, Brian Hough, taught geology at the State University of NY at Oswego.

According to The New York Times, when Hossain asked if the weapon was legal, Hussain said, "What is legal in this world?"

There are reports that the victims may have been concerned by the condition of the limousine.

"We're in possession of the airbag control module - what would be considered the vehicle's black box", State Police Maj Robert Patnaude said at a press conference on Monday. "That is being being analyzed for post crash data".

"From what I'm told, they operated out of the back parking lot", he said.

One of the victims, Erin McGowan, texted a friend saying the party bus that was supposed to take them to Cooperstown had broken down on the way to pick them up and that the group obtained a stretch limo instead, the friend, Melissa Healey, told The New York Times.

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Shahed "Malik" Hussain owns Prestige Limousine in Wilton, according to the official and public records.

Hussain owns the business but the limo service has largely been operated by his son, Nauman Hussain, who met on Monday afternoon with investigators from the State Police's major crimes unit, which is examining whether negligence may have contributed to the deadly incident.

Scott Lisinicchia - who was behind the wheel of the 2011 Ford Excursion before the crash - was cited for operating the same limo without a proper license by a state trooper in August. The Prestige Limousine company had a history of failed inspections.

Hussain emigrated from Pakistan in the early 1990s, fleeing a murder charge that he later said was trumped up, according to news reports.

According to the Associated Press, Hussain has been a paid government informant who has helped USA law enforcement authorities investigate potential domestic terrorist threats after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

In 2009, United States authorities credited him with rooting out radical Muslims in an elaborate sting at a mosque in Newburgh, a city north of NY. At trial, the jury heard testimony that Hussain was posing as a wealthy representative of a Pakistani terrorist organization. His co-operation resulted in the conviction of four men in a thwarted plot to attack synagogues and shoot down military planes.

Hussain also ended up in bankruptcy court twice and was at sued at one point for taking reservations when no rooms were available at a hotel he owned in upstate NY. Earlier this week, the manager of the motel told local reporters that Mr Hussain now lived in Dubai.

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