Newlyweds among 20 killed in NY limo crash, family member says

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. — The aunt of one of the victims in a limousine crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York says the vehicle was on its way to a birthday celebration.

Valerie Abeling says newlyweds Erin Vertucci and Shane McGowan were among those killed. She says Vertucci was 34 and McGowan was 30.

"She was a beautiful, sweet soul; he was too," Abeling said.

The couple was married at a "beautiful wedding" in June at a venue in upstate New York.

"They had everything going for them," Abeling said.

The newlyweds met through Abeling's daughter. Vertucci, who grew up in Amsterdam, New York, was an administrative assistant at St. Mary's Healthcare in Amsterdam.

Abeling says her daughter had been invited along but was unable to go.

She says the family has not learned much about the circumstances of the crash.

She says "our lives have been changed forever."

Officials say Saturday's crash in Schoharie was the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. since a 2009 plane crash in Buffalo, New York, killed 50 people.

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