City official: Bus that girl fell from did not have proper permit

City official: Bus that girl fell from did not have proper permit »Play Video
Angie Hernandez

PORTLAND, Ore. – The bus that a girl fell out of and died did not have the proper permits to operate in the city of Portland, according to city officials.

11-year-old Angie Hernandez died on Saturday night when she fell out of a party bus in downtown Portland. Family members said she leaned against an emergency window and fell to her death when it popped open.

The limo company, Five Star Limousine, did not have any buses that were permitted to pick up passengers inside the city of Portland, according to Kathleen Butler, the Regulatory Division Manager with the Portland Revenue Bureau.

Family members said the bus picked up the partygoers from a church in Northwest Portland. Since they were picked up inside city limits, the company was required to get a city permit.

For a bus to get a permit, a certified mechanic must inspect the vehicle, Butler said. That would include checking emergency exits.

Somebody caught driving a bus without the proper permit can be arrested and fined $5,000, Butler said. The city recently increased the penalty after having problems enforcing the law.

The city has not yet levied any fines or taken other action.

The driver, 61-year-old Martin Ray Brouwer Jr. also did not have a commercial driver’s license, according to Rick Lycksell, the general manager of Five Star Limousine.

Lycksell has not responded to multiple calls for comment about the permitting issue.

According to David House with the Oregon DMV, a driver with a commercial driver’s license would have been trained to do a series of safety checks and inspections that a normal driver might not be familiar with.

A commercial license is required for vehicles with 16 seats or more. The website for Five Star Limousine said the bus in question had a seating capacity of 26-30.

Remembering Angie Hernandez

Hernandez was with friends and families on the bus celebrating a quinceanera, which is a celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday.

Aylin Michelle Salas was the girl turning 15. She said Hernandez was a wonderful, bubbly girl.

“My family and I are devastated with this situation,” she told KATU News.

Hernandez was in sixth grade at Rowe Middle School in Milwaukie. School district spokesman Joe Krumm said counselors were at the school on Monday to help students cope with the news.

“She was very well-loved by all the kids,” Krumm said. “She loved to learn and she especially loved to read.”

The school held a moment of silence in her honor and set up a “safe room” for students, which Krumm said has been very busy.