DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. — A school bus driver here became unresponsive while driving her afternoon route on Thursday, and despite the efforts of students and first responders to revive her, passed away, the district she worked for told WFMY.

Kaelyn Angell, a 10th grade student, told the news source that she and her friend were sitting directly behind bus driver Coleen Gaither, and were talking with her when Gaither lost control of the bus as she was attempting to pull up to a bus stop. Angell said that Gaither “was leaning against the window … She was just laying there.” She added that as the bus swerved, students immediately took control of the steering wheel, pressed the brakes, activated the emergency brake, and called 911, all while trying to help Gaither, who was unconscious at that point.

A student who did not want to share her name told WFMY that she, along with other students, performed CPR on Gaither. First responders arrived and attended to Gaither, but were unable to save her.

Davie County Schools told the news source that Gaither had been employed by the district since 1977. Angell told WFMY that Gaither was “really, really sweet,” and “always nice to people.” On Friday, students painted messages, including “Fly High” and “D.C. Loves You” on a rock memorial for Gaither in front of Davie County High School, the news source reports.

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