'She left this world smiling and dancing'
PORTLAND, Ore. - The family of the 11-year-old girl who died after falling out of a party bus said Wednesday they want to remember Angie Hernandez as a loving, sweet and funny girl.
Two dozen kids were riding a party bus for a weekend birthday party in downtown Portland when Angie leaned against an emergency exit window, fell out and died on the street.
Angie's older brother, Andy, and her cousin and birthday girl, Aylin Salas Lara, were both on the bus last Saturday night and saw the accident happen. They were expecting to dance - not cry - and said Wednesday it was still painful to talk about the accident itself.
Instead, they wanted to remember the girl they loved and who was excited for the big party.
"She was so excited," said Aylin. "She said, 'Oh my gosh, I can't believe your Quinceanera is coming up.' It was the party of the year. We had so many plans ahead. We were going to dance all night. We were going to celebrate."
"It's not easy losing a little sister. Stay strong for your family. Keep your head up," said Andy, adding that his sister would often pull pranks, liked to eat and always had a smile.
Aylin also remembered the importance of Angie's smile.
"I'm going to remember it as the last day I got to see her smile," she said. "She left this world smiling and dancing. That's how I'm going to remember it. That's the only way I'm going to remember it."
Aylin and Andy said they're cooperating with police and hoping investigators figure out what happened. They said the horrible accident is bringing the family even closer together.
Late Wednesday night, KATU's news partners at The Columbian reported that the federal government is investigating the company in charge of the party bus, Five Star Limousine.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is looking at the business's safety practices.
The Columbian reported state officials say the company did not have proper permits to operate in Washington. KATU News has already discovered it did not have permits to operate in Portland.