A woman killed in a head-on collision Wednesday night is now being remembered by those who know her as a caring spirit who loved children.
The Washington State Patrol said an erratic driver, later identified as 43-year-old Brett Birge, hit several cars in a Fred Meyer parking lot and drove away. A few minutes later Birge hit Brittany Babinski head-on at Trent and Sargent Road shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Babinski died at the hospital.
"I got the phone call that Brittany is no longer with us so I'm like did she quit? What happened? They had to say it again and I'm like I just don't understand what you are saying," Kate Green at the Northeast Youth Center said.
Babinski was just 21 years old.
"She is definitely amazing, vibrant and sweet and caring and loving," Green said.
Green worked with Babinski at the youth center where she mentored young kids who ranged in age from 5 to 12.
"For anyone to come in and want to work with at-risk youth, I mean she gave herself here and she was just so dedicated to these kids and treated them as her own," Green said.
Her compassion was one of a kind.
"I just have images of her, any kid that was sad or upset, she picked up and would carry around and make sure they were happy … just a great person," Green said.
Thursday Green had to do the unimaginable. She had to tell the kids their role model and friend is no longer here.
"We all sat together, some of the kids wanted to pray, some of them cried, some of them drew pictures and wrote letters," Green said.
In all, a dozen letters of love from those she touched.
"Dear lord I ask you to take care of Brittany, the one leader who loved little kids. We all feel mad and sad," Green read aloud from one of the letters.
"You are looking down on us now ... We are writing these letters to you because we love you," Green read from another letter.
As for the investigation into the crash, Birge has been charged with vehicular homicide. He's at Sacred Heart Medical Center in serious condition. The WSP is waiting for toxicology reports to see if Birge had any alcohol in his system at the time of the fatal crash.