Four sisters and three of their husbands were among 20 people killed in a horrific limo crash in New York this weekend.
The siblings were on their way to a surprise birthday party on Saturday (October 6) for the youngest of the four, when their limo missed a stop sign and crashed.
The group had been visiting wineries around Schoharie, about 35 miles west of Albany in New York State.
The sisters’ aunt, Barbara Douglas, spoke to the New York Post about the tragedy, explaining:
One just got married, and that’s what this was — her new husband was giving her a surprise birthday party.
Their brother, Tom King, added the girls were ‘very tight’ and described them as the ‘four musketeers’.
We all are what’s left. There was seven of us — five sisters and two brothers.
The group had reportedly originally rented a bus, but it broke down and was replaced by the limo.
Witnesses report the car ran the stop sign at 60mph before crashing into a car park.
The limo struck a parked car which then hit two members of the public, which resulted in their deaths.
20 people in total were killed, including the 17 limo passengers, the bus driver and the two bystanders. The incident is the nation’s worst transportation disaster in nearly a decade.
Axel Steenberg was recently wed to Amy, the youngest sister in the crash.
Axel’s stepdad spoke to the New York Times, saying:
They rented the limo with some families, and I don’t know exactly what they were doing.
There’s just a lot of confusion, so many people died. Their mother is looking for some answers. She wants to know what happened to her sons.
Just three days earlier, Amy posted about her new husband on Facebook, writing:
I just wanted to say Axel Steenburg I love you more than words can say! You are such an amazing man and entertain all my crazy ideas.
Even when I move a couch just to move it back to the original place. Thank you for being so kind and loving.
One of the sisters and her husband were parents to two young children, leaving a 4-year-old and a 16 month old orphaned.
A GoFundMe page has been started for the children to cover expenses and a college fund.
The page reads:
Archer, 4 years old, Elle, 16 months, tragically lost their parents, Adam and Abby, on October 6th in a horrific car accident.
Adam and Abby were amazing parents to these girls and taken much too soon. While families will step in and provide loving care for these girls, there will be expenses that we can help with during this time when we otherwise feel so helpless.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of all those affected by the tragic accident.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.