James Tracy, SCHOHARIE TRAGEDY: The Strange Case of the Shape-Shifting Limousine

James Tracy

It’s being billed as “the deadliest transportation accident” in almost a decade. Over the past two days major media outlets descended on the small upstate New York community of Schoharie to report on the tragic deaths of 20 twenty and thirty-somethings–many of them newlyweds with newborn children.

Albany’s Times Union reports:

They were young adults — sisters, brothers, old friends and newlyweds — who were celebrating one of their birthday’s in a rented SUV limousine on a drive through rural Schoharie County.

They are now victims of the nation’s deadliest transportation disaster in nine years.

Twenty people died Saturday afternoon in the horrific wreck at the intersection of state routes 30 and 30A in the town of Schoharie. The stretch limo, packed with 18 people, drove through a stop sign at the notorious intersection and fatally struck two people in the parking lot of a popular country store, before slamming into an earthen embankment and killing all of the oversized vehicle’s occupants.

What’s odd about this event is the fact that there are very few photos of the vehicles involved in the collision. Coverage states most of the victims were traveling in an oversized SUV-style limousine that was illegally modified and owned by a Pakistani-born FBI informant.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Peter R. Barber@prbarber1

#518news #schoharie Emergency vehicles surround the Apple Barrel Cafe at Route 30 and Route 30A in Schoharie after a van style limousine and an SUV collided injuring several and killing approximately 3 people.

Out of 129 photos the Times Union published, most of which were comprised of attending law enforcement, reporters, grieving onlookers and relatives, and the swiftly organized candlelight vigil, only one is included of the purported limousine, and this image shows the vehicle deeply immersed in foliage and therefore barely visible.

In this Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 photo, a limousine, left, has landed in the woods following a fatal crash in Schoharie, N.Y. (Tom Heffernan Sr. via AP)

Photographs of the limousine are sparse in other news outlets as well. Those that have emerged appear to show different SUV type limousines, and a pickup truck in the woods that doesn’t even remotely resemble the limo in question.

The limousine allegedly struck a 2015 Toyota Highlander SUV in a nearby parking lot before traveling in to the woods, yet the autos in the photographs are clearly not that make, and with differing numbers of side windows look as if they are three entirely different vehicles. In fact, there are no photos of the damaged Toyota Highlander in any of the coverage, which seems odd given the major news media’s attention to the lurid details of such events.

Below are several images of a 2001 Ford Excusion limousine, most of which have five or more side windows or a very long one.


Video news stories of the crash aftermath online are sparse. Yet Rochester New York’s NBC affiliate WROC ran a brief report on October 7 with the image of a demolished black, sedan style limousine on a roadway that apparently never even descended into the nearby wooded area the white Ford Excursion was allegedly recovered from. Could this have been stock footage of an accident? If so the viewer is led to believe the image was taken at the scene, yet according to the white SUV Ford Excursion limo recovery storyline it was not.

Another aforementioned peculiar (though now commonplace) element of this story is the profuse amount of coverage afforded the victim profiles, mourning and vigils in contrast to concrete evidence of the tragic event itself and its aftermath, which photos of the damaged vehicles would have surely provided.

H/t Vivian Lee

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16 thoughts on “James Tracy, SCHOHARIE TRAGEDY: The Strange Case of the Shape-Shifting Limousine”

    1. Who said the picture of the silver pickup was supposed to be the limo? All we have is the writer’s word that the pickup was portrayed in media as the limo. DUBIOUS
    2. As with all fatal vehicle accidents, photos taken by investigators will NOT be released (at least until the investigation is concluded, but even then they are not supposed to be leaked). So, the fact there aren’t closer photos is perfectly normal.
    3. The limo’s black box is being reviewed and will be able to provide more info on telemetry etc.
    4. If you review news reports that don’t rely on the 1 fuzzy picture provided in this report, you see clearly the windows have blown out in most locations.
    5. One rescue worker described removing people from the limo that were injured, but still ALIVE – so much for chemicals.
    6. Another fireman explained the 800+lbs. engine had been pushed through the firewall and into the passenger compartment due to the force of the impact.
    7. Finally, see for yourself before believing this Russian propaganda: https://www.yahoo.com/gma/more-details-emerge-deadly-york-065523026.html

  2. I tried to post a couple of other times but nothing happened so here it goes:

    Do you people have anything better to do with your life??? You all make me sick! Not every single tragedy you see is a hoax! This happened out by my hometown and I as well as some other people I know knew some of the people who died in this accident. These were REAL PEOPLE! I doubt very highly that they would give up their families, careers, and in some cases their children and go as far as “faking their deaths”. This article should be taken down before any of the families see this! Absolutely disgusting!

    1. you are using a well known ruse to muzzle debate , i would have thought that genuine relatives of victims would not care what was being said online as they will be too busy grieving , fact is you demand censorship and to take away our right to dissent

  3. Fetzer strikes again. Cui bono? The taxi lobby mafia war against uber and private limousine operators is well documented. Problem-reaction-solution. The FBI informant driver is a dead giveaway that this was a staged event. WTC bombing 1993 comes to mind. First reports claimed it was a wedding party…how did it change to a birthday party? Who would have claimed it was a wedding party unless they saw a wedding dress and tuxedoes?

  4. In an accident case like this there should be hundreds of on site photos of the Limo from all angles. With supposedly 18 deaths, that Limo should be on the crash site for many hours for there to be a complete forensic investigation…at least until daylight. Instead the alleged Limo was immediately removed in darkness.

    18 deaths are serious business. Its even hard to believe. Maybe I’m overreacting but something seems not right here. I wonder if this is a new kind of ”chaos hoax” . Mass deaths and no tangible facts to back it up.

    1. the backstory is revealing, multiple newly weds, multiple birthdays , victims with military and political backgrounds , gofundmes, orphans , they included every sentimental angle and the inevitable blame Muslims angle as well

      1. I’m sure Mr. Bagnard would find this conspiracy meme rather odd in a humorous way. ?


        Mark Bagnard is chief of the Investigations Division in the NTSB Office of Highway Safety. He has been an NTSB staff member for 13 years and has been involved in numerous accident investigations, including serving as the investigator-in-charge of the Minneapolis, Minnesota, bridge collapse and the Boston, Massachusetts, tunnel ceiling collapse. Before coming to the Board, Mr. Bagnard had been a police officer in Arlington, Texas. He was one of the original members of the department’s accident reconstruction unit and was responsible for training officers. Additionally, he taught at other police agencies, as well as teaching accident investigation courses through the North Texas Regional Police Academy. Mr. Bagnard is certified as a commercial vehicle safety inspector by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

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