Repair shop billing not to blame for limo crash

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FILE – In this Oct. 7, 2018 file photo, a New York state trooper and members of the National Transportation Safety Board view the scene of a fatal crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie, N.Y. The National Transportation Safety Board called Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, for new seat belt requirements for limousines almost a year after a Ford Excursion SUV that had been modified into a huge stretch limo blew through a T-intersection in rural Schoharie and went into the woods. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A prosecutor says improperly billed brake work had nothing to do with the catastrophic brake failure on a stretch limousine that crashed and killed 20 people in rural upstate New York.

District Attorney Susan Mallery said in a letter filed in Schoharie County Court Wednesday that information from a former repair shop employee doesn’t exonerate limo company operator Nauman Hussain, as the defense claims.

The employee told investigators a brake master cylinder installation and brake flush were billed but not done months before the Oct. 6, 2018 crash in Schoharie. Mallery said neither of those caused the crash.

Mallery said other braking system deficiencies were to blame and would have been discovered through proper inspection and maintenance.

Hussain faces manslaughter and homicide charges. His lawyers had no immediate comment Wednesday.

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