Last week, a motor vehicle accident took the life of Aubrey Caitlin "Caitie" Barker. She was the 26 year-old owner of the downtown Springfield restaurant "Caitie Girl's". The restaurant's unique and fun atmosphere contributed to its popularity.
The car accident occurred on Bruns Lane and Jefferson Street when Barker's van collided with the driver's side of 88 year-old Betty Deloney's Mercury Sable. Police suspect Barker ran a red light, causing her to crash into Deloney's vehicle, and resulting in Barker's van rolling over.
Barker was killed immediately upon impact. She will be missed by many, including her restaurant staff, many of who considered her a close friend in addition to a boss. This summer the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce awarded Barker the New and Emerging Business Award. The restaurant which opened in 2007 has been closed since the accident, and it is unknown if it will ever reopen.
Deloney is also well known around Springfield. Up until the accident she bowled several times a week and had been inducted into the Springfield Women's Bowling Hall of Fame. She also was a professional baseball player in the 1940s playing for the Rockola Music Maids.
The accident caused Deloney to break her ankle and crack her sternum. Although she currently can't stand up on her own, she is motivated to recover and return to bowling someday.
An event to honor Caitie Barker will be held this Sunday at the Brewhaus. Donations will be accepted to assist her family with expenses and help Caitie Girl's employees who are suddenly without work.
Source: The State Journal Register, Second driver in 'Caitie Girl' crash also well known, Dave Bakke, 22 September 2011