GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A community is grieving the loss of a Gwinnett County middle school teacher. Sarah Jackson died saving her own daughter from drowning at Lake Allatoona on Labor Day.
Her family remembers her for her laughter and infectious smile. They say she was dedicated to her students and her own four daughters.
"Everybody seemed to have an affinity for her. They like her a lot," said James Jackson, Sarah's brother.
Sarah had overcome so much including poverty and losing her mother at a young age and her older brother to suicide.
"I know for a fact it caused her a lot of trauma, just thinking about the callous she had to build up as a person," explained Jackson.
Sarah would've turned 46-years-old on September 11, but her life came to a halt when her 9-year-old daughter went underwater at Lake Allatoona Labor Day weekend.
"The text said 'Call us soon. There's been an emergency,'" said Jackson.
Sarah tried to save her daughter and went underwater herself. Her daughter survived, but Sarah was underwater for too long. Jackson says she later died at the hospital.
"I just wasn't accepting what I was hearing," Jackson explained after finding out the news, "She was saying there's been an accident. Mom drowned."
Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.
The news came as a shock to friends, family, and Duluth Middle School where Sarah worked. The school posted on Facebook calling Sarah a gift to their students.
"She was really happy all the time, smiled a lot," described Jackson, "She was a very good person. I just see her as an angel now."