Community mourns Columbia woman's death

The 63 Diner to donate proceeds Saturday to Heather Cole's family

POSTED: 09:00 AM CST Dec 24, 2013    UPDATED: 01:58 PM CDT Oct 07, 2013 
Sara Buxton and Heather Cole
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The community is left grieving after 20-year-old Heather Cole was killed Friday morning after her car collided with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 70.

Her passenger, 20-year-old Sara Buxton, is still in critical condition.

Those who knew Cole best remember her as a sweet, dedicated girl who would do anything for someone else.

Her coworkers at 63 Diner and Buckingham's Smokehouse BBQ were shocked to hear the news of her death, and took to social media to share their favorite memories of her.

Cole hasn't worked at Tiger Tots for over a year and a half, but her former boss, Paul Prevo, still remembers her fondly.

"There was one time a child came in who didn't speak English as his first language. So when Heather put him down for a nap, she used her phone to look up about 50 words in Chinese so she and the other caretakers could better communicate with him," he said.

Prevo said this story was indicative of her personality.  He remembers her as loving, caring, and dedicated with a passion for art.

He and Cole's other coworkers are upset she died so young, because she had big dreams left unfulfilled.

"She wanted to be a teacher," Prevo said. "She'd be great for it. She has a big heart."

63 Diner will be holding a special event honoring Cole on Saturday. The diner will be serving her favorite food: macaroni and cheese with hot dogs and grilled cornbread.

The proceeds will benefit the Cole family.