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'You knew she cared:' Community mourns loss of Maricopa County Judge Rosa Mroz

Judge Mroz spent nearly two decades of her career as a judge for Maricopa County Superior Court and she'll leave a legacy on and off the bench.

It's a heartbreaking turn after a Maricopa County judge was hit by a car earlier this week while crossing the street. 

Judge Rosa Mroz died Saturday morning from those injuries, according to court staff. The crash happened near 56th Street and Camelback Road. Police believe that the driver ran a red light. 

Judge Mroz spent nearly two decades of her career as a judge for Maricopa County Superior Court and she'll leave a legacy on and off the bench.

"I’m privileged to have seen her in action," said Ahwatukee resident Holly Barrett.  "You knew she cared."

Barret served as a juror on one of Judge Rosa Mroz’s murder cases back in 2016.

"I remember walking away from the trial she presided over and I found myself thinking, 'Boy, if every judge handled cases the way she did you could really believe in the justice system," she said.

RELATED: Maricopa County judge dies after being hit by car

Barrett remembers her welcoming jurors with a smile.

"On Monday morning we came to count on her home-baked goodies," she said. "We learned she loved to bake on the weekends."

She also remembers Judge Mroz thanking each juror personally, signing a certificate for Holly herself.

"It always meant a lot," she said looking at the certificate. "It means more now because - it’s tangible, it’s not just in my memory. It’s real."

As real as the impact Judge Mroz made across Arizona.  In a video published by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Judge Mroz shared her story, explaining she came to the United States from Taiwan and was naturalized when she was 18 years old.  

"What drew me to law is the judge who swore us in as immigrants," she said in the video.

She also said she was appointed to serve on Maricopa County's Superior Court in 2004 by Governor Janet Napolitano. She’d go on to be one of the first judges of Asian descent in Maricopa County. The NAPABA honored her with a Trailblazer Award in 2020.

Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags be lowered to half-staff in her honor.

As for the driver who hit her, Phoenix police said that person stayed on the scene and the appropriate citations and charges will be decided by detectives once the investigation is complete.

RELATED: Goodyear volleyball club in 'overwhelming pain' after deadly crash involving members

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