KINDRED, N.D. — The school bus driver who had to have both legs amputated following a collision with four semis died last Friday.

A news release from the North Dakota Highway Patrol stated that bus driver Cathryn Jostad passed away from injuries sustained in the crash just after midnight while in the hospital.  

Jostad was driving on the highway, taking 34 Kindred Public School District #2 students on a field trip on Sept. 25 in heavy fog when her bus struck a semi/trailer combination vehicle that was trying to turn onto the highway. Both vehicles came to rest on the highway and, soon afterward, three other semi/trailer combination vehicles slammed into the crash scene.

Jostad, the only person injured in the crash, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, and had both legs removed in an operation, according to Grand Forks Herald.

On Sept. 27, Lisa Jostad, Cathryn Jostad’s daughter, wrote on CaringBridge, an online health journal, that her mother’s prognosis was “guarded, but everything that can be done to help her is being done,” the newspaper reports.

Kindred Public Schools Superintendent Steve Hall told Grand Forks Herald he talked with staff and students about Jostad’s death on Friday morning, and that grief counselors were made available at the elementary and high schools, with the students aboard the bus receiving extra attention from staff and counselors.

Kirsten Baesler, the North Dakota superintendent of public instruction, said in a statement last Friday that she is deeply saddened by the news.

“Mrs. Jostad’s dedication to her job and the safety of her passengers is an example for all of us. North Dakota’s public school system relies on people like her to bring our students to school and to return them home safely,” Baesler said.

“Mrs. Jostad did this job superbly for many years, in all weather conditions. She had the trust and support of Kindred’s children and their parents alike. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends, and to the students, parents and school personnel who are mourning the loss of Mrs. Jostad today.”

Jostad worked for the school district for 26 years, and most people in Kindred, a town of about 700 people, knew her or knew of her, John Shields, a longtime resident of the town, told Grand Forks Herald.

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