More permit problems uncovered after deadly bus incident

More permit problems uncovered after deadly bus incident

PORTLAND, Ore. – The man who was driving a party bus in downtown Portland when an 11-year-old girl fell out of an emergency exit window and died did not have a permit to drive that bus, city officials said Tuesday.

This revelation comes after KATU uncovered on Monday that the company also did not have a permit for the specific bus from the incident.

Party buses that pick up people in Portland need three different permits from the city:

•    A permit for the company
•    A permit for the specific bus
•    A permit for the driver

Kathleen Butler with the City of Portland Revenue Bureau said Five Star Limousine did have a company permit, but the bus involved in the accident was not licensed and neither was the driver, Martin Brouwer.

That means the city never checked Brouwer’s background, investigated his driving record or tested his knowledge of city code. All are required to obtain a permit to drive a party bus.

The bus was also never checked by a certified mechanic, which is required in the permitting process.

Brouwer also did not have a commercial driver’s license, which is required anyone driving a vehicle with more than 16 passengers, according to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles.

“He’s going to do that. He says he’s going to do that. He already has the paperwork,” said Ferlin Brouwer, who lives with Martin Brouwer. “Who authorizes for my driver to do the driving? It is the manager.”

Five Star General Manager Rick Lycksell said on Sunday that he used to own the company before selling it to his fiancé.

The Washington Department of Revenue said Lycksell has owned many businesses in Washington and those businesses still owe more than $150,000 in taxes dating back more than 10 years.

Lycksell has also filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, KATU News has learned.

The City of Portland suspended Five Star Limousine during the police investigation. Lycksell has not returned calls from KATU News in the last two days.

Police still don’t know why the emergency window opened.

Brouwer said in a statement released through his lawyer on Tuesday that he is devastated over the incident that killed Angie Hernandez on Saturday night.

“Mr. Brouwer grieves deeply for the family of Angie Hernandez, and all who have been touched by her loss,” the statement said.

Brouwer said he made a donation to Angie Hernandez’s memorial fund.

Five Star Limousine also released a statement Tuesday, expressing condolences to Hernandez’s family and friends.

Statement from Martin Brouwer:

Martin Brouwer, Jr. is a full time father to his 10 year old daughter, and a part time employee of Five Star Limousine Service, on weekends, to supplement his family's income. He has been devastated and traumatized by this tragic accident, and is not in a position to speak personally about it at this time. He has asked me to issue this statement, because I have represented him and his family for more than a decade in matters of family business, and will represent him in this matter.

Mr. Brouwer grieves deeply for the family of Angie Hernandez, and all who have been touched by her loss. He has made a donation to the fund established for her, and will be cooperating fully with all investigations that are conducted to determine what happened that afternoon.

At this point, Mr. Brouwer can only convey his most sincere sense of profound sympathy for those who have suffered loss in this matter and continue to cooperate in every way possible. Mr. Brouwer also has a very ill wife at home, and asks that you respect his family's privacy at that residence.

Bradley J. Woodworth
Bradley J. Woodworth & Associates, PC

Statement from Five Star Limousine:

Five Star Limousine expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Angie Hernandez. This was a tragic accident. Five Star has made an initial contribution to a bank account to help Angie's family and asks anyone that wants to help her family make a contribution to this account. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch to the Angie Hernandez Memorial Fund.

Five Star has been and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and various administrative agencies who are investigating how this accident occurred.