The Latest: NTSB argues in court for access to crashed limo

The Latest: NTSB argues in court for access to crashed limo
FILE - This Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, shows the wreckage of a limousine, partially hidden in the woods, following a fatal crash in Schoharie, N.Y. More than three months after 20 people died in the crash, federal safety investigators have yet to get their hands on the most crucial piece of evidence, the wrecked vehicle itself. (Tom Heffernan Sr. via AP, File)

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on the standoff between federal inspectors and a prosecutor over limousine in fatal crash (all times local):

11 a.m.

Federal safety inspectors are telling a judge they need to investigate a limousine that crashed and killed 20 people before police remove crucial parts of the vehicle.

Schoharie County Judge George Bartlett is hearing arguments Tuesday over the National Transportation Safety Board’s access to the limousine that crashed Oct. 6 in rural upstate New York, west of Albany.

A lawyer for state police says the limo’s transmission and torque converter must be removed by police experts before NTSB does its examination. NTSB argues that its protocol must be done first.

District Attorney Susan Mallery asserts her criminal case against the limousine company’s operator takes precedence over the federal investigation. The NTSB says Mallery has blocked its investigators.

They say they can do their work in two days.

5:55 a.m.

Federal safety inspectors are going to court to remove a roadblock in their investigation of a limousine crash that killed 20 people nearly four months ago.

Schoharie County Judge George Bartlett will hear arguments Tuesday over National Transportation Safety Board access to the limousine that crashed Oct. 6 in rural Schoharie.

County District Attorney Susan Mallery asserts her criminal case against the limousine company’s operator takes precedence over the federal investigation. The NTSB says Mallery has blocked its investigators from getting with 15 feet (4.5 meters) of the wreckage.

Bartlett scheduled a court hearing to hash out an agreement, saying “This standoff must come to an end.”

If an agreement isn’t reached, the judge says he’ll make a decision allowing federal access.