A newlywed couple and the parents of two young children were among the 20 people killed in a horrific wedding limousine crash in upstate New York on Saturday.
Family have identified Erin and Shane McGowan, who only just tied the knot in June, as two of the victims. They were guests at the wedding.
Adam and Abby Jackson, parents to four-year-old Archer and 16-month-old Abby, have also been identified.
Eighteen of the victims were in the limo and two were bystanders, according to the Associated Press.
Two vehicles were involved in the crash, which occurred just before 2pm at the intersection of State Route 30 and State Route 30A.
Local officials said the limo was speeding down a hill and crashed into bystanders in front of the popular Apple Barrel County Store in Schoharie.
The SUV-style stretch limousine was reportedly carrying guests on the way to the wedding when it collided with the other vehicle.
Anthony Vertucci, Erin’s father, spoke of the ‘darkness and devastation’ that had hit his family and shared photos of his daughter’s wedding day in a heartbreaking tribute.
‘My heart has stopped,’ he wrote. ‘Unspeakable tragedy that I can’t comprehend and will never come to terms with.’
‘I just wanted all of you to see pictures of Erin and Shane, these two beautiful and amazing people, on the best and happiest days of their lives.
Susan Minicki McGowan, Shane’s mother, also shared a photo and tribute to her son and daughter-in-law.
‘Our family will never the same after the tragic deaths of our son Shane and daughter Erin,’ she wrote.
A GoFundMe campaign was launched for Archer and Elle after they lost both parents in the crash.
‘Adam and Abby were amazing parents to these girls and taken much too soon,’ the description reads.
‘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.’
Bridey Finnegan, who lives near the crash site, said she heard a ‘loud bang’ when the two vehicles collided in front of Apple Barrel, a store popular with tourists.
‘I heard a loud bang, I came out my front door to see what was going on,’ she told WTEN.
‘I saw a lot of people here at the Apple Barrel out in the parking lot. Then I heard screaming.’
‘Then I saw this large van, a very unusual looking vehicle out here in Schoharie in the bushes and really wrecked, hit a tree.’
Finnegan said she watched as first responders broke windows to try and rescue people inside.
And witnesses said several bodies could be seen on the ground outside the store.
The Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, and emergency crews from the Red Cross all responded to the scene.
Six ambulances, three fire companies, and two helicopters were at the accident site, according to the Albany Times Union.