Sandra Marra, killed Sunday on Highway 49, had ‘biggest heart,’ friends say |

Sandra Marra, killed Sunday on Highway 49, had ‘biggest heart,’ friends say

Sandra Marra spent most of the day Sunday riding one of her beloved Harleys with longtime friends Kari and Dan Morgan.

After they parted ways, she picked up her truck and headed over to the Willo restaurant to check on her dad, George, who was attending a Marine Corps event there.

That was typical of her, said Kari Morgan.

“She was there for her mom and dad every day,” she added. “She’d go to her parents’ house to check on them, bring them wood, take them to appointments, whatever. … She did so much for everybody.”

Marra was struck by a pickup truck as she crossed Highway 49 and died at the scene.

Marra’s death has left her friends and family in disbelief. Marra, 49, is survived by her sons Cody, 31, and Vinnie, 16, as well as parents George and Dickie and sisters Christine and Michelle, all of whom she was very close to, Kari Morgan said.

Marra and Kari Morgan met about 12 years ago, when they worked together at a skilled nursing facility.

“We built a very close bond through motorcycles,” Kari Morgan said, adding that Marra owned two Harley-Davidsons, a vintage Ironhead and a Sportster. “I was riding a street legal dirt bike … She inspired me to get a street bike.”

Since then, the two women went on many trips and to many events together, including Street Vibrations in Reno in September.

A little over two years ago, Marra began working at Granite Wellness Center as a kitchen supervisor before transferring to Lovett Recovery Center.

“All the residents fell in love with her — and her cooking,” Kari Morgan said. “She bent over backward to make the residents happy. They would come in strung out … and she wanted to take care of all of them. She had a heart of gold.”

Marra was getting ready to study for a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor license, the Morgans said.

Sunday, the Morgans met up with Marra and the trio rode to Yuba City and back, stopping several times to take photos and for lunch.

“We had a really good day,” Kari Morgan said, pointing to a photo of Marra taken that day. “Her smile — her smile was infectious. It would light up a universe.”

The trio split up around 4:30 p.m. After Marra dropped her bike off, she went to Nevada City with her nephew, Josh. After parking across the highway, Marra walked across to the Willo to see her father. As they walked out together, Kari Morgan said, George went back inside momentarily and Marra started back to the truck.

It was close to 5:40 p.m. when a Dodge truck being driven southbound by a 45-year-old Grass Valley man hit Marra, said California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Steele.

“No charges are being filed at this time,” Steele said Tuesday, adding the collision remains under investigation.

The driver, who is not being identified, was not impaired and was not driving over the speed limit, Steele added.

“We’re still looking at sight conditions,” he said.

Steele noted that while there is an “implied” crosswalk at the intersection of Highway 49 and Newtown Road, that section has a 55 mph speed limit.

A layperson would not expect pedestrian traffic at that spot, Steele said, adding it was not a residential zone or an area with mailboxes at the side of the road.

Marra’s friends are still struggling to come to terms with the sudden loss of an “amazing” person.

“She had the biggest heart,” Dan Morgan said.

Services for Marra are still being planned, as well as a memorial ride. Donations to help with expenses can be made in her name at Bank of America.

“There were so many people who loved her,” Kari said. “She touched many, many lives for sure. … She will never be forgotten — no way.”

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4236.

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