Capital Region

Some of those lost in the Schoharie limo tragedy, sisters, brothers, young parents

As told through their Facebook posts and posts of others
Relatives of victims of Saturday's crash in Schoharie County console each other in front of the Apple Barrell Cafe
Relatives of victims of Saturday's crash in Schoharie County console each other in front of the Apple Barrell Cafe

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AMSTERDAM — Amy Steenburg was so in love with her new husband, Axel, she wanted the world to know.

So, last Wednesday, she posted a selfie of the two of them on her Facebook page.

“I just wanted to say Axel Steenburg I love you more than words can say! You are such an amazing man and entertain all my crazy ideas. Even when I move a couch just to move it back to the original place. Thank you for being so kind and loving xo.”

Amy and Alex were married in June. They were among 17 limousine passengers who were killed Saturday in Schoharie, when the vehicle careened through an intersection in rural Schoharie and came to stop in a small ravine.

Everyone in the limo, including the driver, died in the crash, as did two pedestrians struck as the limo crossed a parking lot.

Many of those lives centered around the Amsterdam area. The limo’s passengers were all headed to celebrate a birthday party at a brewery in Cooperstown, according to a relative who spoke to the New York Times.

The lives and loves of many of those killed could be seen online in their posts, in posts of others and in GoFundMe pages set up for survivors. Some of the passengers had young children.

The victims’ stories have turned from tales of hopeful young lives to stories of grief and sadness.

Four sisters from the King family — Amy Steenburg, Mary Dyson, Allison King and Abby Jackson — died in the crash, the Times wrote, citing relatives. 

Erin and Shane McGowan, also newlyweds, died in the crash.

Other victims’ names emerging Monday included Amanda Rivenburg and Rachael Cavosie, according to Rivenburg’s employer and a GoFundMe page set up for Cavosie’s family.

Rivenburg was the assistant director for Living Resources’ day community opportunities program, according to CEO Fredrick W. Erlich, and was someone who was “deeply loved by all those that knew her.”


“She will be remembered fondly through her loving spirit, wonderful smile, thoughtful nature, and her genuine commitment to her colleagues and individuals that we serve,” Erlich wrote in a statement to employees that was released to The Gazette.

A GoFundMe page set up for Cavosie’s family Monday had raised more than 11,000 by mid-afternoon. The Cavosie fundraiser is topped by a smiling Cavosie wearing sunglasses.

Some of their social media pages have already turned into unofficial memorials, as Amy Steenburg’s page has.

The close nature of those killed Saturday can be seen in the comments of Amy Steenburg’s post from last week, specifically in a comment about the couch.

“I helped move that couch out and back in too. #justsayin #brotherinlaw,” wrote Amsterdam resident Adam Jackson. 

Jackson and his wife, Abby Jackson, were also reportedly killed in the crash. They had two daughters: Archer, 4, and Elle, 16 months. 

“Adam and Abby were amazing parents to these girls and taken much too soon,” states a GoFundMe page created for the girls. “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.”

In about 24 hours, the GoFundMe effort — the page includes multiple family photos — raised more than $55,000 from more than 1,000 individuals. 

For the King sisters, a Facebook fundraiser begun by a family friend topped $1,000 by mid-day Monday.

“When someone speaks of a parent’s worst nightmare, only one thing comes to mind. On Saturday, October 6th, at 1:55 pm, this fear became a reality for Tom and Linda King,” states the King sisters’ fundraising page. “Not only did they lose a child, but they lost four of their beautiful daughters and their husbands.”

“A tragedy of this magnitude is unfathomable to everyone on the outside looking in,” the post continued, before noting “three precious babies” left behind.

Another fundraising page has been created for victims Axel and Rich Steenburg. The brothers both worked for GlobalFoundries in Malta, according to their Facebook pages.

The fundraiser in their names had topped $8,400 by mid-morning Monday.

A post on Axel Steenburg’s Facebook page, which was offering a table and bed to anyone who wanted them, has become a place where strangers here and abroad could leave condolences.

“Thoughts are with the family and friends from here in the UK,” read one comment.

The top publicly visible post on Rich Steenburg’s page marked his birthday in July, and a Facebook fundraiser he held to mark the occasion.

“For my birthday this year, I’m asking for donations to Wounded Warrior Project,” the post states. “I’ve chosen this nonprofit because their mission means a lot to me, and I hope you’ll consider contributing as a way to celebrate with me.”

The McGowans’ Facebook pages record their relationship and recent marriage. Erin’s page notes they began their relationship in 2014. Shane’s page records their marriage date as June 8.

Publicly visible photos on both pages feature their smiling faces from their summer wedding.

On May 11, just under a month before their wedding, Shane McGowan wrote of his future wife.

“I have the best fiancee in the whole world,” he wrote, adding a kiss-blowing emoji and a heart emoji.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, News

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