Friends and family left behind flowers and other items near the spot where a woman was hit by an SUV and killed while crossing Highway 85 in Greeley to meet her husband.
Greeley police say Patty Ayala, 48, was crossing near H Street and 8th Avenue across from the JBS Beef Plant on Wednesday night when she was hit.
“All this is just like a blur,” said Richard Henson, who’s known Ayala for more than 20 years.
Henson said Ayala was most likely going to meet her husband who works at the plant.
There isn’t a cross walk on the street to get to the plant, but there is an underground pathway that a spokesperson for JBS tells Denver7 can be used by employees and guests who sign in.
They issued the following statement on Thursday:
"JBS has implemented safety measures for our team members and guests in all areas of the property that we own and operate, including lighting in the parking areas and on plant property, as well as a well-lit pedestrian tunnel under the street that allows our team members safe access to and from the plant and parking lot.
For the safety of all involved, the tunnel is solely for the use of our team members and we require visitors to check in at the guard station, where they can meet with a JBS team member.”
“I just don’t know why she didn’t take the underpass,” said Henson.
He describes Ayala as an energetic woman with a bright smile who’d do anything for her friends.
“She would give you the shirt off her back,” he said.
Police said this is the first deadly accident at the intersection in the last two years. They added the driver stopped and cooperated with them, telling officers it was very dark and Ayala had on dark clothing, making her hard to see.
There’s now a cross with Ayala’s name and other items near the spot where she was killed.
Henson said she has a daughter and had more than a dozen siblings.
“She’ll be missed by a lot,” he said.