The 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was traveling southwest on Route 30 in Schoharie, about 170 miles north of New York City, when it failed to stop at 2 p.m. Saturday at a T-junction with state Route 30A, State Police First Deputy Superintendent Christopher Fiore said at a news conference in Latham, New York.
The National Transportation Safety Board and State Police were investigating the crash.
Witnesses would later recall the limo blowing past a stop sign and plowing into the parking lot of the Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe at the bottom of the hill, police said.
It also failed an on-site state inspection.
"The owner of the company had no business putting a failed vehicle on the road", Cuomo said.
Federal transportation records say Prestige Limousine was owned by Shahed Hussain and was based at a motel in the area of Gansevoort.
Before the disaster, the 17 birthday party guests in the limo - including newlyweds, young couples and four sisters - were headed to an upstate NY brewery.
Prestige Limousine issued a statement Monday expressing condolences to victims' families and saying it was conducting "a detailed internal investigation", while also meeting with state and federal authorities, according to The New York Times.
Furthermore, limousines that are built by independent shops aren't crash tested and it's not uncommon for passengers not to use seat belts.
"Pat's passion for the sport and always present laughter were infectious to those lucky enough to play alongside or against him", the US Dodgeball team said.
Axel Steenburg's brother Rich Steenburg had also been along on the fatal trip, The Times reports.
'I love you more than words can say!'But Sumwalt said the investigation was a priority and would be thorough.
Their aunt, Barbara Douglas, told the New York Postthey were "beautiful girls". It went across the road and hit an unoccupied vehicle parked at the Apple Barrel Country Store and two pedestrians.
"Our hearts grieve for the victim's families, our customers who tried to help, and our staff who did everything they could to comfort", the post said.
"One just got married and that's what this was: her new husband was giving her a surprise birthday party", she told the New York Post. She lived in Amsterdam, New York, according to her Facebook page.
Those killed included two pairs of newlyweds, two brothers from one family, and four sisters from another, reported Reuters.
New York actually has some of the most stringent regulations in the country when it comes to vehicles carrying 10 or more passengers, according to Kevin Barwall, president of the Limousine, Bus and Taxi Operators of Upstate New York.
"This is one of the biggest losses of life that we've seen in a long, long time", NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt told The AP.
Saturday's wreck was the nation's deadliest transportation accident of any kind since a 2009 plane crash near Buffalo, New York, killed 50 people.
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 U.S. cases in which prosecutors brought terrorism charges against defendants, transportation and federal court records showed.
"They were the Four Musketeers, " he said.
Since limos are essentially stretched versions of normal passenger vehicles, it means occupants aren't necessarily seated near a pillar which offers increased protection in the event of a crash. The couple married in June and were among a tight circle made up mostly of old high school and neighborhood friends from Amsterdam, New York.