Family of student killed in western Iowa bus fire reaches settlement with school district

Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 11:29 AM CST
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The family of a western Iowa student who died in a school bus fire in 2017 has reached a settlement with the Riverside Community School District.

In Dec. 2017, 16-year-old Megan Klindt was the lone student on a bus when it got stuck in a ditch before it caught fire in Pottawattamie County.

A report from the NTSB found the driver, 74-year-old Donald Hendricks, had a back condition that impaired his ability to get them off the bus.

Klindt and Hendricks died in the fire. The Klindt family sued, accusing the school district of the wrongful death lawsuit of negligent hiring, training and supervision of Hendricks. The Klindts also said their daughter's death caused them severe emotional distress. The lawsuit also claimed Megan had complained about Hendricks' driving before the fire.

In a statement, Klindt's family says the terms of the settlement are confidential. They also said they're taking some small comfort in bringing important safety issues to light and seeing new safety standards adopted by the NTSB.

The full statement is below:

After two years of litigation, the family of Megan Klindt has reached a settlement with the Riverside Community School District which resolves all claims against the district. A jury trial was scheduled to begin in Pottawattamie County District Court March 3, 2020. The terms of the settlement are confidential. "No amount of money will ever bring Megan back. Megan’s family, as well as numerous witnesses and other community members, will continue to be haunted by the knowledge that her death could have easily been prevented if the numerous documented complaints and concerns of Riverside parents had been heeded by the school superintendent and transportation supervisor. "Glen and Natalie Klindt have taken some small comfort in bringing important safety and oversight issues to light, and in seeing additional new safety standards and protocols adopted by the National Transportation Safety Board. They hope that no other family ever has to know the pain they feel in losing a child in such a tragic and senseless way."