Ashe County community stunned after teacher dies from COVID-19

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 7:40 PM EST
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WEST JEFFERSON, N.C. (WBTV) - Katlyn Farmer says her town of West Jefferson is mourning after the death of a beloved teacher.

Crystal Bennett, she says, was a special person who meant a lot to many. Bennett was an EC Teacher at Ashe County High School. Farmer’s son, who has autism, was a student of hers for four years.

“He just adored her and thought the world of her and her family and this is the first time I ever seen my 18 year old son grieving,” Bennett said.

Farmer and others say Crystal became sick last week with COVID-19 and went downhill fast. They had hoped she was getting better.

Crystal was texting people from the hospital at first.

“One day there was a post from her and the next day she was gone,” said Farmer.

School officials said their condolences go out to her family and friends and added that counselors are available online for those who need it.

Classes will be 100-percent virtual now until after the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend.

Students at Ashe County High School said they could not believe the news when they heard that the teacher had passed away.

“It was just out of nowhere,” said one student, with another adding “It really hits home.”

Friends of the teacher are hoping what happened is a reminder to everyone to follow all the safety guidelines for COVID-19.

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