Rick "Rockin' Fig" Fignetti, his daughter, Chanel Fugnetti and friend Samantha Patsos couldn't hold back their tears as they talked about the weekend death of their close friend.
Kelly Morehouse, 25, of Huntington Beach died in a traffic collision Saturday after a man in a Lexus sedan reportedly collided with a motorcycle driven by her 24-year-old fiancé, Taylor Rolfson. Morehouse was riding on the back of the motorcycle.
Rolfson remains in the hospital with broken legs, Fugnetti told the Huntington Beach Independent.
The driver of the Lexus, 68-year-old Tadashi Mizutani of Huntington Beach, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence causing injury. He posted bail of $100,000 Sunday morning, a jail official said.
A collage made by Fignetti honoring the life of Morehouse sits in front of his store, Rockin Fig Surf Shop, on Main Street in Huntington Beach. Pictures of Morehouse and friends make up the poster, along with the words "R.I.P. Kelly; Luv U Miss U" on top.
Morehouse's mother, Karen, is a teacher at Huntington Beach High School and her father, Bill, a photography teacher, retired from the school in 2012 after 37 years.
"She was an outgoing figure that was fun to be around," Fignetti said. "Her and my daughter were friends since they were little kids. I've seen her through bad times when they've been in trouble. There were times where I was looking for them, driving [in downtown Huntington Beach] past 12 o'clock at night in my truck looking for them."
The Huntington Beach surf legend considered Morehouse to be part of his family, welcoming her at gatherings and functions, he said.
Chanel Fugnetti, 24, and Patsos, 25, had known Morehouse for 13 years. They attended Huntington Beach High School together. Fugnetti and Fignetti spell their last names differently by choice.
Patsos said teens at the high school wore the color blue Monday in memory of Morehouse. Blue is her middle name and the nickname her friends gave her.
"She would bring a smile to anyone's face," Patsos said. "She was always cracking jokes and [was] the life of the party."
Fugnetti said Rolfson had just proposed to Morehouse on Saturday night and the couple were on the way to meeting Fugnetti and friends to celebrate.
"We've been inseparable for the last seven years," Fugnetti said. "A part of me died. I can't imagine life without her."
Fignetti reminisced about the times he would visit Morehouse at her work at the Sugar Shack, just down the block from his shop.
Co-worker and longtime friend Eric Ramsey, 25, said she was hard-working and the best server the restaurant had.
"She just had the best smile on her and was always in a good mood," he said. "She would stand up for herself. She was a strong girl and really outgoing. It's all a horrible thing."
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