'She was just part of the heart and soul of this organization'

EUGENE, Ore. - Co-workers of a woman killed in a car crash Saturday called her "the heart and soul" of the operation.

Karlie Hobson, 32, was director of speech at the Eugene Hearing and Speech Center.

She was headed to visit a friend Saturday afternoon when her car veered into oncoming traffic, killing her on impact.

"It's a huge loss," said co-worker Doris Towery. "She was just part of the heart and soul of this organization and the mission and the work that we do. Karlie lived it and exemplified it in every aspect of her life."

Hobson "always had a smile, always stopped to make sure that you were feeling OK, and patients adored her," Towery said. "She cared deeply for them and really cared about helping people to be successful."

The day before she died, Hobson went up to see her husband, Jeremy, who was helping to fight the forest fires near Oakridge to celebrate their five-year anniversary.

Hobson had been with the center for 6 years. She was a University of Oregon graduate.

"She brought that joy and passion and warmth to every aspect of her life," Towery said. "This is not just a huge empty hole that is left for our organization, but I think for our community too."

A funeral will likely be held in Hobson's home state of Minnesota. There are plans to hold a celebration of life in Eugene. No date has been set yet.