Friends remember woman killed in hit-and-run incident in Springfield

Published: Nov. 21, 2018 at 10:52 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A minor fender bender in Springfield turned into a first degree murder charge against a driver.

Barbara Foster's car was hit from behind while she was sitting in traffic on Campbell Ave. near Sunshine St.

When Foster got out to inspect the damage, the other driver, Elizabeth McKeown intentionally ran her over according to police.

The details of how and why McKeown killed Foster are disturbing. What's worse, they were completer strangers.

We talked with some of Foster's friends and co-workers at Eye Glass World. They are still trying to understand how this could have happened.

"The hardest part is just her not being here. It's just so jarring and I can't really get over how unreal it is," said Logan Rader.

Foster's coworkers are like family. They are trying to cope with their loss.

"We knew that she had been rear ended because actually we spoke to her just before. She said hey I just got been rear-ended. I got to let you go,"

she said.

No one could have imagined what really happened.

Preston Abbott, "Barb got rear-ended. She's a fighter. She'll be fine. That's nothing to her. She might be a little mad but who isn't when they get rear-ended."

Foster was on her way to do volunteer work. She donated her time and optics expertise to people who couldn't afford to get glasses.

Rader remembers hearing about the accident.

"We're trying not to think the worst at that point. That couldn't be her. Of course it's somebody else. "It wasn't something any of us were ready for," he said.

However it was Barbara.

Court documents say she was sitting in traffic when McKeown rammed into the back of her car for not moving fast enough. Later McKeown admitted to trying lure Barbara out of her car by so she could run her over.

"I never expected something like this to happen. It doesn't feel real. It's just heart breaking. You end someone's life and you ruin countless others," said Abbott.

Foster's coworkers say their bond with her extended beyond office camaraderie.

"She helped so many of us here get through some tough times. She was kind of like the aunt or mother or in my case I kind of saw her more as a sister. She was really caring, always taking you under her wing, giving you advice. It was a no nonsense approach always but that's just who she was," said Rader.

Her presence is felt everywhere inside the store.

"She's everywhere here. Her handwriting is all over the place. We're going to have to fill those. They're huge shoes to fill. It's really, really hard to keep going when she was such a close friend. I can't think of this place without her. So moving on without her is going to be really tough," said Rader.

They say they didn't have enough time with their nurturing friend and mentor. Her generous and feisty spirit made an everlasting impression.

Abbott said, "The last thing I said to Barb was, hey Barb have a good day. Love you. I'm at peace with that."

"She definitely touched a lot of lives. She definitely made her mark on the world. She will never be forgotten. Ever," said Rader.

McKeown is in the Greene County Jail without bond. The court decided that she is a danger to the community based on this crime. She will have to have a hearing and post a half-million dollars bond if she wants to get out.