CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Family members are now planning Laura Russell's funeral arrangements. The 29-year-old single mother was killed on Monday while trying to enjoy a day out on the water with friends.
Russell was killed on Monday during a jet ski accident. She was driving her watercraft in front of another woman. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officers said Russell suddenly turned her watercraft and stopped it. Officers said that's when the woman riding behind her accidentally rammed into her.
Michele Bell said she can't believe her angel is gone. Bell knew Russell for 10 years. She last spoke with her on Monday morning, just hours before Russell died.
Russell called to check on Bell. Monday was the anniversary of Bell's brother's death.
"She texted me yesterday morning before I got out of bed," said Bell. "I lost my brother six years ago yesterday. She just wanted to make sure I was okay because she knew it was hard for me. We kind of played around texting with each other. And I said, well, I'll just call you."
Bell never got that chance. Bell added her step-children regularly played with Russell's 11-year-old daughter.
"Her and Laura, they were best friends," said Bell. "Laura lived and breathed for that child."
Friends say Russell was an all-around amazing person. She was an instructor and stylist at Tri-County Beauty College, a full-time student working on her bachelor's degree at Miami University, and a single mother.
"Laura was that kind of person in everyday life," said Jesse Miller, administrative assistant at Tri-County Beauty College. "She lived for her daughter. She's going to be greatly missed."
"She was just a wonderful person," said Shanese Lear, student instructor at Tri-County Beauty College. "Nobody had anything bad to say about her."
Linda Newman has known Russell since she first enrolled at the beauty college 10 years ago. Newman said she spoke with Russell's mother on Tuesday morning when she called to confirm the news.
"She's pretty distraught right now," said Newman. "Totally shocked by the whole thing. Laura had just gotten back from a trip to Nicaragua. Her mother was worried about her being out of the country. She said, you know, when she comes back here, then this happens. Just a tough time."
Still no word on the results of Russell's autopsy. It was performed on Tuesday morning.
A friend is planning a benefit at FB's, a club downtown on Sixth Street. The cost is $5 to get in. All proceeds will go to Russell's family.