In a small town like Oakland, Iowa, almost everyone knew the two people who died in the bus crash that caught fire Tuesday morning. If they didn’t, they knew the family.
Dozens of people around the area attended a community prayer vigil at the Fellowship Church in Oakland Tuesday evening to pray for 74-year-old Donald Hendricks and 16-year-old Megan Klindt.
Hendricks had been a bus driver for the district for years and also served on Carson’s City Council. He had just been reelected for a second term in November.
“He was a great bus driver,” said Kasi Haveen, whose kids rode Hendricks’ bus for five years. “The kids always talked about him when they came home. My daughter started preschool last year and she on many occasions would slip before she got on the bus and he’d get out of the bus and help her. Not many bus drivers would do that.”
Bailey Rose, a senior at the high school also rode his bus for years.
“He was really nice. I know we’re not supposed to be friends with teachers or bus drivers but he was really my friend. He was really supportive of school events and he always gave out candy during the holidays,” said Rose.
Rose also went to school with Klindt. They took a weightlifting class together last year.
“She was a very fun girl. She made me laugh every time. She made it fun to actually be in weights. And she always did little jokes. It was a blast to have her around,” added Rose.
Rose said some seniors and some of the staff are already planning some type of tribute for both Klindt and Henricks.
As of Tuesday night, officials have not said what caused the fire.