The company that operates a party bus in which a 16-year-old Daniel Fernandez was killed didn't have proper permitting in New Jersey.
Fernandez died last week in a horrific accident when he stuck his head out of a roof hatch. His head hit an overpass as the bus traveled on Interstate 95 in Fort Lee.
New Jersey officials say Designer Limousines of Port Washington, N.Y., did not apply for a state permit required for vehicles over 13 feet, 6 inches high. The bus was 13 feet, 9 inches high, a Port Authority spokesman said. The accident remains under investigation.
Designer Limousines did not return a call for comment.
New York officials say the company had permits to operate three 48-foot buses on New York highways, but its over-height permits expired at 11:59 p.m. Friday.
Fernandez was among 65 teens aboard the bus from New York City on its way to a Sweet 16 party in Garfield, N.J., said Steve Coleman, spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The accident happened as the bus crossed the George Washington Bridge on the way to New Jersey.
The teens were dancing and the bus had gotten hot, the security guard, Alex Franco, told the Daily News.
"I told them not to open the hatch, like three or four times, but kids, they don't understand," he said.
Franco said he had gone downstairs to tell the driver that it was getting too hot.
"Two, five minutes I was downstairs," he said.
But then he heard teenagers screaming, and he saw Fernandez on the floor of the bus. "There was so much blood everywhere," he told The New York Post.
Fernandez, who lived in Queens' Woodside neighborhood, was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Calls to his family home Saturday in Queens rang unanswered.
Friends sent sad Twitter messages reacting to his death.
"Sitting here with your blood on my foot wishing this was all a bad dream. I love you so much dan you were there for me till the last second," wrote one student, who said she was forever scarred.
Students planned to wear blue on the first day of school to honor the teen.
Fernandez was going to be a junior at St. Francis Preparatory. He was a beloved student, said Lynch, who taught him last school year.
"He was an adorable, low-key kid, with a sweet smile," she said. "Kids loved him; he had lots of friends and was popular with the girls."
She said a group of students had a special last project, producing and appearing in a takeoff on the novel "Lord of the Flies," about a group of boys on a desert island who try to govern themselves, with disastrous results.
"He was very hands-on, he took the leadership role," said Elizabeth Gonzalez, a student teacher at St. Francis last year.
Fernandez played the villain in the video students posted on YouTube, she said.
In class, "he was very lively, and high-spirited," she said. "And he had so much potential in his writing."
The school said on its website that it shared in grief and shock over his death. A wake was set for Monday, the site said.
Designer Limousines, which operates the bus, expressed its "deepest heartfelt sympathy" to the teen's family. The company said it would conduct an internal investigation.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.