OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — Josefina Rojas often helped out at the Loncheria Mitzil Mexican Eatery in Oregon City. Sometimes she’d bus tables and help pick up plates, sometimes wash some cups, said Norma, one of her friends.
“She worked here in the evenings mainly and on the weekends,” Norma said. “We always called her Josie.”
Josie “was always singing, dancing, so she was always happy. She always wanted to sing. She loved karaoke, that was one of her things. She loved karaoke.”
Norma said Josie was always laughing, “and I would tell her ‘I want to be happy like you’ sometimes because she was always happy.”
On Wednesday, Josie stopped by Loncheria Mitzil to check on a friend who recently returned to work after a broken leg. When she headed out around 5 p.m. with her Bible in her hand, she walked down the sidewalk to the nearest intersection.
Witnesses told KOIN 6 News she waited for the signal and started to cross the intersection of Molalla Avenue and Pearl Street. But she was hit by a pickup truck and died at the scene.
Josie was 52 and leaves behind a husband and 2 children.
The driver of the truck stayed at the scene and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Neighbor Bertie Adrian told KOIN 6 News the intersection is busy.
“There’s a lot of people coming and going across the street, and it’s a busy street with traffic going up Molalla and down Molalla,” Adrian said. “I can understand where something could happen because there’s a lot of pedestrian traffic here, too.”
Norma said she heard the impact “and I saw her pink shirt so I knew it was her. After that, I don’t remember anything. I just started going crazy.”
Josie was only carrying her Bible and her pink wallet, Norma said. “And she always carried a lunch bag because she was a cancer survivor, so she didn’t eat just anything, you know. She always watched her diet.”
Minutes before she died, Josie was singing and dancing inside the restaurant in a scene that was captured on cell phone video.
“She was talking abut her shampoo that she was going to do. She knew how to make shampoos, like organic shampoos, and that’s what she was talking,” Norma said. “She was going to create a shampoo line and we were talking about selling it at the Farmer’s Market.”
Norma said the thing she liked best about Josie was “that you could talk to her like a human being. She’s not fake, like other people.”
Norma said she’s very sad.
“She was kind,” Norma said.
Her message for both drivers and pedestrians is to be very cautious. “Pay very close attention to what they’re doing.”
KOIN 6 News will have more information as soon as possible.