Rose Bush for Woman Killed: “She Was Thorny, She Was Beautiful”

Posted at 7:07 PM, Jun 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-25 20:30:00-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A neighbor of the woman from Kalamazoo who was killed after being hit by an ambulance, then run over by a second vehicle, has created a special memorial for her in his front yard.

Robert Patterson has lived on Park Place in Kalamazoo for seven years. Up the street lived 45-year-old, Diana Bailey.

“It’s hard to believe that she’s gone,” Patterson said.

On Tuesday, he created a memorial for her by placing a rose bush in his front yard. A flower he said reminds him of the woman he knew.

“She was thorny. She was beautiful. She was caring and she just had that reach for life,” Patterson said.

On Sunday, June 23, Bailey was visiting Grand Rapids. According to the Grand Rapids Police Department, the woman was hit on 28th Street near Divsion Avenue. The ambulance that hit her, they said, was on a non-emergency call. The driver of the second vehicle initially left the scene. However, he turned himself in on Monday. He was questioned and released, according to police.

Patterson told FOX 17 that he grew to know Bailey well and that he looked on as she helped several people in their neighborhood. He said she worked with the church, was involved with the community and did what she could to make their town a better place to live.

“She would take homeless people into her house and feed them, care for them, until they were able to get back on their feet,” he said.

Just hours before she was killed, Patterson said Bailey drove by and waved. He waved back.

“I thought she was going downtown, that she would be right back,” he said.

Every morning when Diana was out for a jog, Patterson said she would stop by with a smile and ask, “how’s your day?”

“You look for that. You get used to seeing certain things everyday,” he said.

Although Patterson can no longer physically visit with Bailey, he will be reminded of her as he looks out his front window.

“This rose bush is going to represent her to me. As it grows and blossoms and gets more flowers,” he said. “It will forever remind me of the beautiful person she was.”

He knows Bailey will never be too far away.

“This is her home,” Patterson said, as he stared into the rose bush. “This is what she loves. Regardless of where your spirit is at, you always end up back [where] your loved ones are.”