A limousine crash in upstate New York has left 20 people dead, marking the United States’ single most deadly transportation accident since 2009.

Witnesses report seeing the stretch Ford Excursion run through a stop sign at a T-junction in the town of Schoharie, some 270km north of New York City, at speeds nearing 100km/h.

It collided with an unoccupied vehicle parked in front of a store, killing the driver and all 17 passengers in the limo. Two other people near the collision were also killed.

Those at the scene described seeing bodies on the ground.

An aunt of one of the victims said the vehicle contained newlyweds Erin Vertucci and Shane McGowan, who were on their way to a birthday celebration at the time of the crash.

Siblings Rich Steenburg and Axel Steenburg, along with Axel’s wife Amy, have also been reported as victims of the crash.

The National Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the incident, said chairman Robert Sumwalt.

“I’ve been on the board for twelve years, and this is one of the biggest losses of life, loss of lives, that we’ve seen in a long, long time,” Sumwalt said.

The tragedy comes nearly a decade after the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 near Buffalo, New York, which killed 50 people.

Source: ABC
Image: Tom Heffernan Sr. / AP