Employees, along with a couple of volunteers, are working harder than ever to keep an Escondido cafe afloat while its owner remains in the hospital following a hit-and-run.
Rosie’s Cafe owned and operated by Kaitlyn Rose Pilsbury, 33, for the last three years, sits along West Grand and Broadway in Escondido.
On Dec. 21, the driver of a white Ford Explorer hit Pilsbury while making a left turn in front of her Harley Davidson motorcycle, San Diego Sheriff's Department said. The driver left his SUV at the scene at West Vista Way and North Melrose Drive in Vista and ran away on foot, SDSO said.
The registered owner of the SUV is not the suspect, however, SDSO does believe someone borrowed the SUV and therefore the owner may know who the driver was that night. The suspect is described as a 6-foot-tall man in his 30s with short hair and an approximately 4 inch beard.
Rosie’s Cafe manager Sandy Nelbroski said Pilsbury suffered horrible injuries and remains unconscious in the ICU at Palomar Medical Center, as of Saturday, Dec. 28.
“She is like a daughter to me,” Nelbroski said. “She is a people person, she adores people, and they adore her. She is from New Jersey. She does a pretty tough Jersey accent, how she says ‘coffee,’ or 'coofee,' it’s pretty funny, I always made fun of her for that.”
Nelbroski said Pilsbury’s injuries are severe and she got the call that Saturday night just 45 minutes after she seeing Pilsbury.
“It was the worst night of my life,” Nelbroski told NBC 7.
“Her femur on her left leg, completely broken, they put a rod in there, her tibia bone too, they put a rod in there. They put a pin her right arm, her 'Rosie the Riveter arm' and we just need her to wake up,” she said.
Rosie’s Cafe is a retro-style cafe with pictures up of Rosie the Riveter, an icon from whom Pilsbury draws strength and inspiration every day, Nelbroski explained. Pilsbury even wears her hair like Rosie the Riveter and rolls up her sleeve to show off her bicep for photos with customers.
Rosie’s Cafe would not be able to survive these days without friends like Nelbroski and Jason Martin, who is spending his holiday vacation time with his 10-year-old son working in the kitchen.
“She is my best friend, the best person I know,” Martin said. “We are all doing what Rosie would do, we can’t pout around. I’m doing this because I love her, she is my, just like Sandy said, she is the most important woman in my life, she takes care of my kid. She takes care of all these people.”
Even Martin's 10-year-old son Eric is doing what he can to help Rosie’s Cafe stay afloat by sweeping and rolling silverware.
When asked if he has a message for Pilsbury, Eric said, “I would like to say that I love you and I hope you feel better.”
If you would like to donate to help Pilsbury with medical expenses and sustain Rosie’s Cafe, please head to the GoFundMe page.
The Vista Traffic division is conducting the investigation and nyone who may have witnessed or has information about the collision can call (760) 940-4556.