Washington state shuts down party bus company, fines it

PORTLAND, Ore. - The state of Washington on Thursday shut down the party bus company involved in the death of an 11-year-old girl.

It was the latest punishment for Five Star Limousine.

Angie Hernandez died last September in Portland when she fell out of an emergency exit window on one of the company's party buses. The federal government ordered it to shut down three months ago.

Federal inspectors went through the bus and found serious violations. In addition to shutting the company down, the U.S. Department of Transportation fined it $60,000.

The city of Portland also shut it down, and the state of Oregon would have added its own punch but said the federal order was good enough.

But now the state of Washington added its own red stamp to the file. The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission formally ordered the company to stop renting out party buses and limousines in the state and also fined it $2,000.

After Hernandez's death most other party bus companies in Portland added new alarm systems to the emergency exit windows. Now they loudly beep whenever someone unlatches them, alerting the driver.

It was not immediately clear Thursday why Washington state officials suddenly announced this action and whether the company was still operating in that state.