SIERRA VISTA — Reyna Maria Vos walked everywhere. Those who knew her said it was her passion.
Saturday just after 7:30 p.m., the 60-year-old Vos, a beloved massage therapist and tennis coach who was a fixture in the city’s West End, was killed after she was struck by an on-duty Cochise County Sheriff’s deputy on State Route 92 near its intersection with State Route 90, Sierra Vista Police said.
Witnesses said Vos was not in a crosswalk when she was hit in the northbound lanes of the highway. Motorists who had been behind Deputy Clayton Terrazas on the road also said that he was not driving erratically or exceeding the speed limit when the accident occurred.
While several people, including Terrazas, tried to render aid to Vos before paramedics arrived, she died at the scene, investigators said.
A native of Hawaii, Vos was often seen walking along Fry Boulevard, where she had befriended several people.
Francisco Torres, owner of Gustavo’s Shoe Repair and Leather Work on Fry, credited Vos with helping his son, Gustavo, a 32-year-old paraplegic whom Vos worked with for a year.
“She gave him therapy on his arms and legs, she taught my son how to drink water and how to sit up,” Torres said. “She gave him therapy twice a week, for more than a year.”
Torres said she was always friendly with his family and his children. He said Vos kept her son “on track” with his exercise routine. She was also a customer of Torres.
“That’s how I met her and I hired her to care for my son,” he said. “I always saw her walking everywhere.”
Danny Diaz, co-owner of Buena Health Fitness Center on Wilcox Drive, said that when Vos died, she may have been walking to Sonic on Fry Boulevard to get a milkshake.
A couple of hours before her death, Diaz drove Vos to a nearby eatery to pick up some food and then he dropped her off at her makeshift residence inside the King’s Court tennis complex.
Diaz said Vos had a space inside Buena Health as a massage therapist. Her practice was called Angel Maria’s Massage Therapy. She tought tennis at the vacant King’s Court tennis complex in the city. Diaz said Vos “picked up a few gigs” teaching children the game at the sprawling facility where six courts are still operational. The complex was owned by the city, but it was recently sold to a Canadian firm. It had been vacant for years and was initially envisioned as a tennis complex that included a clubhouse/restaurant, office spaces and apartments.
Diaz said Vos had been staying at the complex, likely as a squatter. He called her a “transient among friends,” who had lost her car recently and was always given rides when she couldn’t walk.
On Saturday, 2½ hours before she died, Diaz had been Vos’ last massage client for the day.
He said he drove her to a nearby eatery on Fry Boulevard and then back to her makeshift residence at King’s Court.
Diaz said when she exited his vehicle, she did not say goodbye.
“I dropped her off and she said, ‘You know I’ve been here 23 years and I know they have different owners. I don’t know if they’re going to keep me or send me away,’ “ Diaz said. “I guess she doesn’t have to worry about that anymore.”
Diaz said Vos did tell him that she might venture out again that evening to get a milkshake at the Sonic on Fry. Of course, she would walk there, he said.
The one thing that Diaz questioned on Tuesday as he talked about Vos was how she ended up getting hit to begin with.
“She was really fast,” he said. “It really disturbed me that she couldn’t get out of the way because she is fast. I don’t know what happened.”
Sierra Vista Police Detective Josh Nicola, who is investigating the accident, said Tuesday he could not release any further information on the incident.
Tuesday morning just outside the entrance at Buena Health and Fitness, a small sign buffeted by plants advertised Vos’ massage therapy business.
Diaz said he wanted to keep the sign there for a few more days in honor of his friend.