The limousine they were in with their friends and family ran a stop sign and crashed in upstate NY, killing everyone on board.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D, said state agencies should "provide every resource necessary" to investigate the crash. Everyone inside the limousine, including the driver, died in the crash, and all those killed Saturday were adults, police added.
The birthday party guests were riding in a 2001 Ford Excursion that was converted into a limousine.
While Cuomo revealed some new details about the accident, he said it's unclear if the vehicle suffered a malfunction or the driver was as fault.
The New York intersection where a limousine crashed, killing 18 people headed to a birthday party, is notoriously known as a unsafe intersection that officials have attempted to fix without success, a nearby store owner and officials said.
Prestige Limousine, the vehicle's operator, was ordered to cease operations until the investigation is complete.
Relatives of the deceased said the group in the limo was headed to a birthday party when it crashed in the town of Schoharie, about 40 miles west of state capital Albany.
It's the worst transportation accident in the United States since a 2009 plane crash outside Buffalo, N.Y.
The four sisters were celebrating the birthday of the youngest.
Furthermore, limousines that are built by independent shops aren't crash tested and it's not uncommon for passengers not to use seat belts. "I commend the NTSB's immediate aid on scene and am very hopeful that we will have concrete answers soon", Schumer said.
Mrs Steenburg was also a newly-wed.
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In her final Facebook post, Amy wrote that loved her husband "more than words can say". Sumwalt said the vehicle was configured for 19 seats; two up front, a rear-facing seat, a forward-facing seat in the back and seating on each side.
The four sisters' aunt, Barbara Douglas, said they had felt "they did the responsible thing getting a limo so they wouldn't have to drive anywhere". The Times Union, citing local officials, reported that the limo sped down a hill and crashed into bystanders at the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe.
Erin McGowan, 34, who died along with her newlywed husband Shane, 30, had sent a text message to her cousin questioning the car's condition roughly 20 minutes before the fatal crash, her aunt said.
She said her own daughter had been invited along but couldn't go.
The crash "sounded like an explosion", said Linda Riley, of nearby Schenectady, who was on a shopping trip with her sisters.
"My heart breaks for the 20 people who lost their lives in this horrific accident on Saturday in Schoharie", Cuomo said in a statement.
The families of McGowen and her husband Shane McGowan, who were both in the limo Saturday, are also still grabbling with the news that the couple, who had just gotten married in June, is now gone.
This comes as National Transportation Safety Board investigators are working to figure out if the limo's extensive modifications contributed to the tragedy.
"These were young couples, just got married and had their whole lives ahead of them".
The owner of Prestige Limousine, Shahed Hussain, shares the same name and address as that of a former FBI informant who appeared as a witness in two USA cases in which prosecutors brought terrorism charges against defendants, transportation and federal court records showed. The front end of the limo was crushed, forcing the engine into the driver compartment, NTSB officials said, describing the substantial "force and energy" required to create such extensive damage. "She was a lovely, sweet soul; he was, too, they were very sweet", Abeling said.