Pete Kotowski, with the National Transportation Safety Board, spoke at a news conference this morning in Council Bluffs. “At the present time, we are aware of a safety recall issued by NHTSA for school buses similar to the one involved in this incident,” Kotowski said.
NHTSA is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “That recall involved an issue with the electrical circuitry,” Kotowski said. “Whether that has any involvement in (the fire), that’s an area we are going to continue to examine and make sure that recall actually involves this particular vehicle.”
The accident near Oakland claimed the lives of the only two people on board — the bus driver, 74-year-old Donnie Hendricks, and 16-year-old Megan Klindt. The bus, from the Riverside School District, was backing out of the driveway of the Klindt family’s farm, went into a ditch and caught on fire. Kotowski says they are checking to see if there were cameras or other “recording devices” on the bus
He says the bus sustained a substantial amount of damage, but they are still looking to try and find any information. Kotowski says they will release more information in a couple of weeks, as the on-scene investigation takes 5 to 14 days and they will issue a preliminary report in around 14 days.