Alesia Apodaca says her friend, Niki Wade, was traveling to help groups of homeless cats the morning she was killed.
"It could've happened to me," she told ABC15.
Wade was hit by a car after stopping near University and Center to get out and move a dead cat off the road.
"She was a beautiful, beautiful girl," Apodaca said, with "a beautiful soul."
We're told Wade was a volunteer with the Foundation for Homeless Cats. Apodaca is now organizing a food drive to benefit the animals Wade cared for so much. A volunteer with the organization where Apodaca spends her time, Arizona Small Dog Rescue, is also donating neon vests to the cat volunteers, she says.
"We just want to continue her memory and honor her the best we can."
Several Valley cities, including Mesa, urge drivers to call police if there is something blocking the road so it can be safely removed.