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PORTLAND, Ore. — Party bus bookings have increased over the years as passengers prefer the space and accommodations of the rolling dance clubs over the relatively cramped quarters of a stretch limousine, and operators have been quick to cash in on the trend.
A little too quick, perhaps, for proper inspection and maintenance; September saw two of the most grisly party bus fatalities the industry has seen, made even more tragic by the fact that the deceased were children.
LCT reported last month on the death of 16-year-old Daniel Fernandez, who died after sticking his head out of the emergency hatch of a double-decker party bus and striking it on the underside of a freeway overpass as he traveled from New York to New Jersey for a Sweet Sixteen birthday party.
A few weeks later, on the last weekend of September, an 11-year-old girl fell out of a Portland party bus’s emergency window and died.
ABC reports that the girl, identified as Angie Hernandez, was riding in a party bus operated by Portland, Ore.-based Five Star Limousine. She was leaning against an emergency exit, and when the bus turned, the window opened and Angie fell into the road. She was pronounced dead at the same.
The party bus, filled with 20-30 passengers, most of whom were children, was en route to a Quinceañera party.
According to Portland’s KGW.com, the party bus involved in the accident did not have proper city permits and the driver did not have a valid commercial driver’s license.
In July, two women fell out of a party bus in California while on their way home from a concert. One died and the other sustained moderate injuries.
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Sources: ABC News; KGW.com
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