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Michigan limo owner says accident near Albany New York is squarely company's fault

Posted at 10:37 PM, Oct 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-08 23:43:56-04

We're taking a closer look at Michigan's limousine laws and restrictions in the wake of that deadly accident near Albany, New York over the weekend that killed more than a dozen people.

When it comes to limousines and their drivers in Michigan, they need to follow very strict and regulated laws. 

If they don’t, it’s bye bye license and business.

Mark Grabow is the President at Brentwood limousine in Fraser.

He says after the deadly limo accident over the weekend; he’s now taking a closer look at his vehicles.

"It’s devastating across the board for everyone.  The Michigan Department of Transportation comes out, does our inspections.  We’re required to not only follow the Michigan Department of Transportation laws and inspection, they also do the inspection under the U.S.-DOT guidelines," Grabow said. 

Prestige Limo, the company involved in this past weekend's deadly accident, recently failed a state inspection and did not have appropriate federal certification.  

Grabow says if his vehicles failed inspection, they wouldn’t be on the road.

"We get our vehicles inspected annually by the state of Michigan, they set it up, they come out, they go through the vehicles stem to stern," he said.

Twenty people were killed when their limo drove through a stop sign near Albany New York and crashed just outside a country store and ended up in a ditch.  

Deadly limo accidents are rare.  

In 1997, a limo crashed in Birmingham carrying several Detroit Red Wings players, leaving Vladimir Konstantinov with serious head injuries and paralysis. 

But, what happened in New York Grabow says is the companies fault.

"Something failed, somewhere along the line and as we’ve heard not only did the vehicle fail numerous times, the company failed at putting an unlicensed driver behind the wheel," he said.

Mark says before you rent a limo ask to see the companies records beforehand.

"Hopefully people take a look at this and understand, this was a company, this was not the industry," he said.

If you’re still not sure about the limo company, go to the Michigan Department of Transportation website and look under bus and limo, for all the authorized businesses.