Kathryn Ann Brown, 40, of Springville, the patient who died when the SkyLife air ambulance helicopter she was on crashed in Kern County last week, was employed as a substitute school teacher.
She was working at Sunnyside School west of Strathmore on Thursday afternoon when she became ill and was taken by ambulance to Sierra View Medical Center, Sunnyside Union School District Superintendent Steve Tsuboi said.
“She was very reliable,” he said. “The kids got along with her. She did all grade levels.”
She was a very nice lady, very outgoing, very personable and very positive.
Debbie Rodriguez, Woodville School, remembering teacher Kathryn Ann Brown
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Brown also was a regular substitute teacher at Woodville Elementary School west of Porterville, said school secretary Debbie Rodriguez.
“She was a very nice lady, very outgoing, very personable and very positive,” Rodriguez said. “She was one of those teachers who stayed over to help the kids. She wanted to be in the county rural schools.”
Brown was being flown to San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield when the helicopter went down last Thursday night for unknown reasons east of McFarland.
Authorities previously identified the crew as pilot Thomas Hampl, 49, of Bend, Ore. and an employee of Rogers Helicopters; critical-care nurse Marco Lopez, 42, of Hanford, a three-year SkyLife veteran; and paramedic Kyle Juarez, 37, of Fresno, a nine-year veteran at American Ambulance who spent the last three years on the SkyLife team.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.