If you've been to the historic southside of Fort Worth in the past 19 years, you might have crossed paths with 71-year-old Patricia Winburn. She routinely sat on the corner of East Maddox Avenue and South Riverside Drive on her motorized scooter with bundles of flowers for sale.
It was an everyday thing, according to her daughter April Stone, one of Winburn's four children.
"She was the Flower Lady," said Stone, 51. "She would sell flowers on that corner right by the little convenience store to get enough money to buy dog food. Because she loves the stray animals."
Saturday, May 26, was no different from any other day for Winburn, except that when she headed to her home three blocks away that night, she didn't make it.
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"She hung up the phone with me right before she got hit to tell us she was coming home," Stone said.
Winburn was hit at 9:17 p.m. by a driver who collided with the scooter she was riding in the 1900 block of East Maddox Avenue. The driver fled afterward, according to Fort Worth police. The driver remains on the loose.
Several days later, Stone remained puzzled as to why the driver didn't notice her mom on the roadway.
"She had one of those reflector jackets that you can see for a mile on the back of her wheelchair," Stone said. "She was in the bike lane next to the curb. The back of her wheelchair is crushed in. They hit her from the back and it broke the seat which made it spin. The wheelchair was further down than she was when they found her."
Stone said she found out about the accident Saturday night from her husband. He was headed to a Walmart nearby when a neighbor flagged him down to tell him Winburn had been hit.
"I couldn't go down there. I didn't want to believe it," Stone said. "He was yelling, 'Mom was hit by a car.' I wasn't thinking that it was serious but when my daughter came back ... it was terrible. I kept asking, 'Is she dead?' Everybody told me, 'No.'"
Winburn sustained a head injury, but was awake and talking when she was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital, according to police.
Stone grabbed a cab along with her son and daughter and rushed to the hospital where Winburn was already in surgery, she said. After 30 minutes of pacing around the waiting room, doctors came out and told Stone she could go in and see her mother, but she was unresponsive.
"The doctor told us we needed to come in and say goodbye," Stone. said "I just didn't want to believe it. But I went in to see her and held her hand and told her to fight it."
A similar moment, with Stone holding her mother's hand as she lay in the intensive care unit clinging to life, had happened once before.
In 1988 Winburn, who is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, was a passenger in a friend's car when it was involved in a serious traffic accident, Stone said. Winburn had to be extricated from the vehicle with Jaws of Life, a hydraulic cutting tool, and she nearly died on the operating table, her daughter said.
"She fought it. Because she crashed twice (on the operating table) but they brought her back. She came back," said Stone. "It caused nerve damage to her left leg and it was hard for her to move it so they got her a motorized scooter."
On Saturday night, Stone believed that her mother could beat death again.
She said she stood by her side in the hospital room, holding her hand and asking her to hold on.
"I told her to fight it. But her blood pressure wouldn't go back up," said Stone. "They kept on telling me, 'Just keep talking to her; she can hear you.' Then she started crashing and we had to move out of the way."
Winburn was pronounced dead at 12:42 a.m. Sunday, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner.
Fort Worth police spokesman Bradley Perez said the investigation into Winburn's fatal hit-and-run is ongoing. Police have only a few details about who might have hit her, Perez said in an email.
"When I reviewed the fatality report it stated it was a gray vehicle. No other descriptors were provided," Perez said.
Stone said she hopes the suspect will come forward.
In the meantime, she has constant reminders of her mom in the six stray dogs she took in and left behind: Gracie Allen, BJ, Buddy, Spanky, Frankie and Bear.
"She loved them dearly," Stone said. "Me and my daughter are going to take care of them."
They are getting help with the dogs from the City of Fort Worth Animal Control, she said.
The city has been making a concerted effort to help the stray animals on the historic southside through the Pets for Life initiative, a national effort with the Humane Society. They came across Winburn's dogs on Monday afternoon, according to Kayla Francis, a Senior Animal Control Officer of Outreach Education for the city.
"We came across April (Stone) and she told me what happened to her mom. It's just sad," Francis said. "We gave her all the dog food we had. We're going to bring her more and we're going to get collars for the dogs and get their shots as well."
Stone said she just wants her mom to be remembered as a good woman.
"She was a wonderful woman and kind woman. She helped everybody she could even though she didn't have a lot herself," Stone said.