PORTLAND — The driver of a party bus from which a Portland girl fell and died wasn’t licensed to operate the bus, and there were no other adults on board, it was reported Wednesday.
The company that employs the 61-year-old driver had licenses for four vehicles, but the party bus wasn’t one of them, The Oregonian said.
“Neither the vehicle nor the driver was permitted," said Kathleen Butler, manager of the regulatory division of the Portland Revenue Bureau.
The company, Five Star Limousine, had recently received a permit to operate in Portland.
Angie Hernandez, 11, died Saturday night after tumbling from the vehicle’s emergency window. She was sitting on top of a horseshoe-shaped sofa when she fell, Portland police spokesman Lt. Robert King said.
“It was like a nightclub environment" inside the bus, King said. “She didn’t have any way to hold on. When the window opened, she just fell."
For-hire transportation companies in Portland must be licensed, and their vehicles must pass yearly safety checks. The companies must have at least $1 million in liability insurance, and drivers must pass background checks.
Butler said the fact that the driver, Martin Brouwer, wasn’t licensed to drive a bus carrying 20 or more people is a serious violation that could bring thousands of dollars in fines.
Brouwer did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment.
The city of Portland suspended the company’s permits for its four licensed vehicles following the accident.
Rick Lycksell, general manager of Five Star Limousine, which owns the party bus, said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and we’re trying to help them get through this."