Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Thousands gathered in New York state Monday night for a vigil to remember 20 people who died over the weekend in the deadliest U.S. transportation accident in nearly a decade.
Mourners attended the ceremony at a park in Amsterdam in upstate New York -- some holding flowers, candles and handwritten notes -- two days after the limousine crash.
"Tonight we saw the strength of our Amsterdam community once again -- thousands came together to honor, remember their lives and support their families," New York lawmaker Angelo Santabarbara said at the vigil. "The horrific event that claimed the lives of 20 people on Saturday has left us with pain that feels unbearable and unending."
Eighteen people in the limo and two outside were killed in the crash. Authorities are investigating the cause, as well as questions over safety of the limo operator and the driver.
Investigators said the Ford Excursion limousine ran a stop sign at an intersection in Schoharie and crashed into a nearby parking lot, where it struck a parked vehicle. It's the worst transportation accident in the United States since a 2009 plane crash outside Buffalo, N.Y.
The limousine involved in the accident had failed an inspection last month, didn't have a chauffeur's license, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.
Prestige Limousine, the vehicle's operator, was ordered to cease operations until the investigation is complete. The company had three vehicles that had failed inspections, Cuomo said.
"Investigators are continuing with interviews of witnesses and family members and autopsies of the victims are also still ongoing," the National Transportation Safety Bureau said in a statement Monday night. "Due to the severity of the crash, this process is taking some time."