NORFOLK, Va. - A Norfolk restaurant is mourning the loss of one of their waitresses following a tragic car accident.
Police say Kasondra Geers of Portsmouth, 29, died Friday night following a head-on collision on Caratoke Highway in Currituck County, North Carolina.
Geers, who went by Kassie, had been a waitress at Charlie's Cafe in Norfolk for six months and previously worked at Hometown Diner in Portsmouth for three years.
Just hours prior to the Friday accident, Geers did an interview with News 3 about preparing to work in triple-digit temperatures.
"Personally, I love it...It's like a forced workout," she said at the time.
But Geers never showed up the next day. Charlie's owner Berfin Karaaslan says it was unlike her.
“She was scheduled to work on Saturday and we couldn’t get a hold of her," said Karaaslan. "We were starting to get worried and as I was about to call somebody her mother-in-law walked in and gave me the news."
Karaaslan says Geers was more than her employee, but a friend too.
"She was a great person, great individual, great energy. She honestly made everyone happy. If you were having a bad day she would come and give you a hug," she said. “She had lots of regulars. Everybody loved her."
Karaaslan says Geers had just lost her husband to cancer in November and moved into a new apartment a few weeks ago with her daughter, eight-year-old Libby.
“She had to be strong for her daughter and she was," she said. “As far as I know [Libby] is moving to Colorado with Kassie’s sister, Jennifer. She’ll be living there and I think that’s the best thing for her."
A GoFundMe account set up Monday by Geers' sister to help pay for funeral expenses and to assist Libby raised more than $5,000 in less than a day.
Charlie's Cafe and Hometown Diner are also collecting donations. Both restaurants have put up pictures of Geers in honor of her.
"I’ve had many people today donating, giving something small but everything counts for Libby and the funeral expenses," said Karaaslan.
Meanwhile, Geers' co-workers are mourning her loss, but plan to celebrate her life Tuesday, which would have been Geers' 30th birthday.
"We were all gonna go out and celebrate. We were gonna get food, maybe go to the beach and try to do something for her," said Ryan Golden, Geers' co-worker and friend. “Unfortunately she’s not here to do it, but she’s not the kind of person that would want us to be miserable because she’s gone so we’re gonna go out and do what we can to celebrate for her.”