Parents of Iowa girl who died in school bus fire say driver shouldn’t have been behind wheel

Parents of Iowa girl who died in school bus fire say driver shouldn’t have been behind wheel
Student Megan Klindt and driver Donnie Hendricks died in the school bus fire in December. (World-Herald News Service)

OAKLAND, Iowa (AP) — The parents of the 16-year-old girl who died in a school bus fire in western Iowa last year are critical of school officials and the 74-year-old bus driver who also died.

Glen and Natalie Klindt said they hope Iowa will strengthen school bus regulations because of the Dec. 12 fire that happened right after Donnie Hendricks picked up Megan Klindt.

The Klindts say Hendricks couldn’t walk without a walker and had back surgery scheduled the week of the fire, so the couple says he wasn’t physically fit to drive the bus.

School bus drivers in Iowa must have physicals, but endurance isn’t measured.

Federal investigators have said the fire began in the engine compartment after the bus backed into a ditch and became stuck.

Riverside Superintendent Timothy Mitchell could not be reached for comment Monday.

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