PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A TikTok star from Pittsburgh died after a tree crashed on her car while she was driving in Maine.
Rochelle Hager died this week while she was on the phone with her fiance.
“We were just having a normal conversation,” said Brittanie Lynn Ritchie. “Then I heard a crash, then there was nothing.”
Hager, who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, was instantly killed by the tree that fell on her car.
“There will be a void in our life forever. Never a phone call I ever expected to get,” said Sandy Hager, Rochelle’s mother.
Rochelle had over 100,000 followers on TikTok, where she was known as “Roe,” and was an active voice in the LGBTQ community. But her story isn’t about her death. It’s about the lives she’s touched.
Rochelle Hager’s parents described her as a light coming from a dark tunnel who was an inspiration to others.
“She was just a vibrant person since she was born,” Sandy said. “She always had a smile on her face, always wanted to make people happy.”
“She would literally do absolutely anything to make anyone smile,” Ritchie added.
Before she was TikTok famous, Rochelle faced struggles with addiction and her sexuality. But with help and acceptance from her family and loved ones, she turned her life around.
“That long, hard journey set her up to do what she did on TikTok, with trying to help people with addictions or struggling with sexuality,” said Dean Hager, Rochelle’s father. “With her positive vibe and her positive spirit, she knew that helped people.”
Rochelle had a dream job as an executive chef and was about to marry the love of her life after meeting during quarantine and moving in together.
Her loved ones said she had a bold and beautiful personality with lofty goals, ones she was well on her way to achieving.
“She said, ‘I’m going to be famous someday, momma.’ But I never realized her fame would be in her passing,” said Sandy.
While she was known as “Roe” to the world, her family will forever know her as “Shelly”. Her family says funeral arrangements are in the works.
Rochelle loved Pittsburgh sports teams and her followers loved her. To honor her on Saturday, her followers are planning to wear black and gold in her memory.