Beaufort County school bus driver dies just before starting her routes

sbowman@islandpacket.comNovember 4, 2013 

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A Beaufort County school bus driver died Monday shortly after arriving at the district office to start her morning routes, a school district official said.

Special-education bus driver Tammy Grant, 45, complained of not feeling well as she boarded her bus at about 6:30 a.m., shortly after arriving at the Beaufort County School District office at 2902 Mink Point Blvd. in Beaufort, according to chief student services officer Gregory McCord.

Grant called for assistance to get off the bus, and McCord said she wasn't doing well when several people made their way to the parking lot to help her.

Emergency services were called immediately and took Grant to Beaufort Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8:15 a.m., according to Beaufort County Deputy Coroner David Ott.

A cause of death has not been determined, Ott said. Results of an autopsy at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston are expected Tuesday.

Grant, an employee for school bus operator Durham School Services, had been driving buses for the district for more than 20 years, McCord said. She was a driver for Whale Branch Elementary School and the James J. Davis Early Childhood Center.

McCord said she was friendly, positive and had a great spirit.

"Grant is someone who will be very sorely missed," McCord said, expressing sympathy for Grant's family and friends and the many bus drivers who lost a colleague.

District director of special education Brenda Hunt agreed, saying Grant always helped relay information to parents and worked well with the students.

"What the special-education bus drivers do each and every day -- they are the first ones to see those kids in the morning and the last one in the afternoon -- they really do make an impact," Hunt said.

Follow reporter Sarah Bowman at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.

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