BELLE GLADE, Fla. — Family, neighbors and co-workers mourned the loss in late April of Gertrude Knowles, a 70-year-old special-needs school bus attendant.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Knowles usually drove to work with her son Fitzgerald Knowles, also a bus aide for Palm Beach County Schools. But on April 30, they drove separately.
When her son got to the bus compound at 5:30 a.m. and Knowles hadn’t arrived, a search began. Neighbors, relatives and police headed out on her route.
Tire tracks were found leading off the road, across a grassy area and into a canal. Divers found Knowles in her car in the oily water.
A police spokesperson told the Palm Beach Post that investigators believed the car lost control and began to rotate clockwise, then landed in the canal. There were signs that Knowles had tried to get out, police said.
Co-workers remembered Knowles fondly.
"She was just full of fun and laughter," bus driver Jamila Lee told the newspaper. "We're going to miss her. But God loves her best."