PORTLAND – After an 11-year-old girl died in a fall from a Portland party bus window, investigators have learned that bus had several serious safety violations.
The driver of the bus and the company that owns it could now face felony charges, according to the lead investigator, Officer Erik Koppang.
Angie Hernandez died September 29 when she leaned against an emergency exit window, which was supposed to be locked, and she fell out onto the street.
Background: Girl, 11, killed in Portland party bus accident
Officer Koppang told KGW the bus and bus windows were inspected by both a major crash team and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
They found some handles designed to open the emergency exit windows were broken, and others were stuck shut or were “dangerously loose.”
"Some of them would open up regardless of whether or not the handle was pulled, if you applied pressure," Koppang said.
He added that the kids on the bus were not roughhousing or playing with the windows.
The driver told investigators he had no idea there was a problem with the bus. He did not have a valid commercial driver's license at the time of the accident, according to DMV records. Police said he was not impaired.
The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office plans to convene a grand jury as soon as next week against the driver and the limo company.
KGW Reporter Abbey Gibb contributed to this report.