PORTLAND – A fatal accident over the weekend has brought a big problem to light in the Portland area: Party bus and limousine companies operating without the proper permits.
Eleven-year-old Angie Hernandez died after falling out the emergency window of a party bus Saturday night, and the driver of the bus, Martin Brouwer, Jr. did not have a valid commercial driver’s license.
Background: Eleven-year-old killed in Portland accident
The president of the Oregon Limo Association said the discrepancy is not uncommon. He estimated that 50 to 70 limo and party bus companies are operating in Portland without the proper permitting. That includes Five Star Limousine, the company involved in the weekend tragedy.
KGW learned Tuesday that Five Star Limousine's license has now been suspended, due to the permitting discrepancy. This means it can no longer operate in the city of Portland.
As for the bus driver, although he did not have the proper license, his uncle told KGW Martin did nothing to cause the accident.
“He did everything right, that was the sad part, and the girl shouldn’t have been sitting there,” Dick Brouwer said. “He wasn’t speeding, wasn’t doing anything excessive.”
An attorney for the driver issued a statement that reads, in part: “Mr. Brouwer grieves deeply for the family of Angie Hernandez and all who have been touched by her loss.”
Five Star Limousine also released a statement Tuesday afternoon expressing condolences to her friends and family.
A fund was set up to help Angie's family with funeral costs. Donations can be made the Angie Hernandez-Lara Memorial Fund at any metro area US Bank branch.
KGW Reporter Mark Hanrahan contributed to this report.