Gas pump explosion kills Iowa college student - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gas pump explosion kills Iowa college student


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- Family members say an 18-year-old woman who was killed when a gasoline pump exploded in Colorado Springs was home on spring break from Grinnell College in Iowa.

Police say Whitney Hendrickson was filling a minivan with gas at a convenience store Tuesday when an SUV struck a pickup parked at the pump. The pickup toppled a gas pump, which then caught fire and exploded.

Witnesses say people who tried to help Hendrickson were driven back by the heat.

Hendrickson was a freshman at Grinnell. Her friend Julie Podair, a Grinnell student from Appleton, Wis., was in the minivan but escaped without injury.

Police say the SUV driver, 29-year-old Kelli R. McKay of Colorado Springs, was cited on suspicion of careless driving involving a death.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APNP-03-18-09 1040CDT

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