New York State Police confirmed the startling death count as details of the tragedy in Schoharie County began to trickle out on Sunday.
A state police press conference was scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday to provide more information on the preliminary investigation into the crash.
Photos from Times-Union photographer Peter R. Barber showed a white van-style stretch limousine lodged in a ditch, along with police and emergency vehicles that had converged upon the scene.More news: At least 11 dead after 5.9 magnitude quake in Haiti
The disaster is one of the most fatal auto accidents in recent memory in area and the worst transportation disaster to hit the Capital Region since the 2005 sinking of the Ethan Allen tour boat on Lake George, NY, which also killed 20 people.
It was unclear whether any of those killed were at the Apple Barrel Country Store, which is at that intersection.
Police told Fox News that the crash involved two vehicles, including the limo.
A person with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press that 18 of the victims in Saturday afternoon's crash at the Apple Barrel Country Store were in the limo and two were bystanders. "If I was the apple barrel owners I would be demanding some sort of barriers to protect my business and customers".More news: Former Classmates of Brett Kavanaugh Say They've Been Ignored by The FBI
"I heard some screaming".
Authorities haven't released names of victims or specifics. "We are so thankful for all of you", the store wrote in a Facebook post. First, we want to thank all of the emergency services that responded. We hope you will come and share your smiles, love, friendship and hugs with us. "They are the heroes of our small community", the post stated.
The National Transportation Safety Board is working Sunday to reconstruct the scene. You will always be part of our family.More news: U.S. unemployment drops to the lowest level since 1969