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Hundreds gather in Kindred to mourn school bus driver who died after crash

KINDRED, N.D. - More than 600 people gathered in the Kindred High School gym here Tuesday night to remember Cathy Jostad's smile, service and sacrifice.

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Kindred Elementary students sing Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, during the prayer service for Cathy Jostad at Kindred High School. David Samson / The Forum

KINDRED, N.D. – More than 600 people gathered in the Kindred High School gym here Tuesday night to remember Cathy Jostad's smile, service and sacrifice. "Can you imagine what she went through seeing the truck, knowing she had all of those young people in her hands?" said Aanen Gjovik, pastor at Norman Lutheran Church. "She was a good shepherd. She sacrificed herself for those kids and stayed the course, hit the (truck)." Jostad, 64, died early Friday morning as a result of serious injuries suffered in a crash involving her school bus and four semi trucks on Highway 46, on Sept. 25. The bus was full of fourth-graders from Kindred, a town of about 700 people located 20 miles southwest of Fargo. Related coverage: Kindred school bus driver injured in crash dies More than 150 gather in Kindred to support bus driver Initial crash story At the prayer service Tuesday, curtains parted to unveil about 100 elementary school students, many wearing royal blue T-shirts with the words "I love my bus driver" printed across the chest. Royal blue is the color of the Kindred Vikings. They sang a medley that started with "Amazing Grace" and ended with an original song. "Cathy, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts," the students sang. "We know the sacrifice you made. We'll never be apart." Jostad had both legs amputated at a Fargo hospital before she died just after midnight Friday. She was the only person seriously injured in the crash, which the North Dakota Highway Patrol said is under investigation.

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Kindred Elementary students sing Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, during the prayer service for Cathy Jostad at Kindred High School. David Samson / The Forum

"She made the decision, 'If I swerve, it's going to roll, somebody's going to get hurt,' " Gjovik said. "She put on all the brakes she could and saved those kids. We're thankful for that, but we also are sad because she gave her life." Jostad grew up in rural Leonard and earned a degree in secondary education at North Dakota State University. She taught in the Kindred schools, then stayed at home to raise her two daughters on her husband's family farm. When they grew older, she began her three-decade career as a bus driver. Outside the gym on Tuesday, Jostad's ribbons, riding boots and jackets from the Pinto World Championship Horse Show were on display-markers of her passion for raising and showing Arabian horses. On Monday, she would have turned 65. Bob, her husband of 45 years, and her daughters, Lisa Jostad and Laura Schwab, did not speak at the brief service, which ended with a song that was special to Cathy and Bob. "Happy trails to you, until we meet again."

Related Topics: EDUCATIONACCIDENTS
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