WCCS employee succumbs to COVID-19

COLUMBIA CITY — A Whitley County Consolidated Schools’ employee who contracted the coronavirus died from complications of the virus on April 3.

WCCS Superintendent Patricia O’Connor sent a letter to school families on Saturday, April 4, identifying the employee as a school bus driver.

Brandon Faucett, bus number 12, is the first COVID-19 death in Whitley County.

“We are devastated by this loss in the WCCS family,” O’Connor said in her letter. “Brandon’s wife told us that Brandon just loved driving his bus.

“Please keep Brandon’s wife, Laura, and his children in your thoughts and prayers.”

The school has counselors available to students, and parents may contact their school’s principal for assistance.

The Whitley County Health Department announced the county’s first death in a news release Monday.

“The deceased was a man in his late 50s. We are unaware of any previous health concerns,” the release said.

Whitley County’s confirmed cases grew to five with the April 4 update from the Indiana Department of Health, and cases around the state are soaring, nearing 4,000.

A GoFundMe has been set up by Faucett’s daughter-in-law, Laura, and had nearly $5,000 from 92 donors within four hours.

“We can’t thank the doctors, nurses, techs and respiratory staff enough for the love and care they gave him and for going above and beyond for our family when we weren’t able to be with him,” Laura Faucett said. “Thank you for those that prayed for him and those at the bedside that prayed with him and telling him how much we loved him. My father-in-law was a very proud man, family man, adored his grandchildren and spent as much time as he could with the love of his life. He was also a Godly man and was loved by so many. I have no doubt that he would have given one of his amazing heartfelt hugs to all who cared for him during this time.”

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