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Northside business owner fatally struck bringing her staff coffee

Published: Sep. 9, 2016 at 10:12 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 23, 2016 at 10:12 AM EDT
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NORTHSIDE, OH (FOX19) - The pedestrian fatally hit on Hamilton Avenue was a popular restaurant owner who was bringing her staff coffee at the time of the accident.

Sarah Cole, 35, who operated Tickle Pickle, died early Friday at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, according to the Hamilton County Coroner's Office.

The Fort Thomas woman launched the business last summer as a walk-up window serving gourmet burgers, side salads and shakes, said her kitchen manager, Kris Tanner.

Tickle Pickle opened as a full restaurant in February.

It was closed on Friday in her memory.

She ran across the street to Sidewinder Cafe on Hamilton Avenue to get coffee for her employees Thursday night and was hit coming back, Tanner said.

"She was extremely friendly and great with everyone," he said. "She took care of us all. But she wasn't one of those bosses who was too much of a friend that the place couldn't run.

"Everybody loved her and she took care of all of us. She inspired all of us to be better people just by her attitude every day, just by the way she took on situations.

"No matter how difficult things were, she would size them up and attack it. She was really fun and tenacious, unlike anyone I've ever known or will know again."

Cincinnati police said Cole was outside the crosswalk when a northbound 1996 Honda Civic hit her on Hamilton Avenue about 5:43 p.m.

She suffered life-threatening injuries and was rushed to the hospital.

The driver of the Honda, Earl Woods, 28, was not hurt. He wore his seat belt, police said.

Speed and impairment are not factors in the crash, which remains under investigation, they said.

Cole's kitchen manager disagrees with police that speed was not a factor.

"I was watching. The person was definitely speeding," he recalled. "They had to slam on their brakes and skidded and swerved. Speeding was definitely a factor."

Cole leaves behind a husband and two children: a 16-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son, Tanner said.

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