TAMPA — A woman died Wednesday night after she was struck by a car while crossing Hillsborough Avenue, police said.
The woman, Tamica Solomon, 33, from Tampa, and her friend darted across eastbound and westbound traffic between 40th and 42nd streets minutes before 9 p.m. There is no crosswalk on that section of Hillsborough Avenue.
They made it to the outside lane of westbound traffic in front of the Village Motel when the car hit Solomon, authorities said.
She died at the scene. Her friend needed no serious medical attention.
"It simply appears that when they were crossing, they either did not see the vehicles or misjudged the speed," said Lt. Rick Ubinas.
Police said Thursday morning that Solomon's death appears to be a tragic accident. No charges are likely to be filed against the driver, who is cooperating, authorities said.
At the scene Wednesday night, friends and family members gathered in clusters to better understand what happened to the neighborhood companion they had affectionately called "Niko."
A good friend with a pretty smile, Niko offered to cook for anyone who needed a hot meal, said Olicia Johnson, 26.
Johnson said she met Niko six months ago after she moved from Temple Terrace to East Tampa. Niko had opened a car wash behind a day care on East Hillsborough Avenue, said Johnson, who last saw her friend Tuesday.
Niko told Johnson's son Henry Byrd, 4, to "be a good boy, be good to your mama."
Then, Johnson said, she flashed a grin, cocked her index finger and said her favorite catchphrase: "In that order."
Sitting on the sidewalk Wednesday night, police cars flashing around her, Johnson wondered how someone could be here one day and gone the next.
"A person says don't ever ask God why," Johnson said. "But her?