Kim Stevenson loved taking her bright orange motor scooter for a spin. And wherever she went, she was always careful to slip on her helmet and often, a long-sleeved shirt in case she crashed.

But Thursday morning, while driving along Lake Como to a friend's house, those precautions weren't enough.

While heading south on Lexington Parkway near the Como Lakeside Pavilion shortly after 8 a.m., Stevenson and a northbound vehicle collided. Stevenson, 39, of St. Paul, died at the scene. Police say she was wearing a helmet.

"She loved that stupid thing," said Jessica Lee, owner of Ensemble Music, where Stevenson worked as a music instructor. "And she was always so careful."

Other driver cooperating

The circumstances surrounding the crash were unclear Thursday. St. Paul police spokesman Howie Padilla said that it remains under investigation. The man driving the car was not injured and is cooperating with police, Padilla said.

There is no indication that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he added. It's also unclear if other traffic was a factor.

Traffic and parking congestion in the Como Park area can be an issue at times, especially during the summer months, when the lake and the nearby zoo and golf course are heavily used, said Brad Meyer, spokesman for the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

"During the summertime, when the zoo is its busiest, we have a lot of traffic," he said.

At the time of the accident, Stevenson had been on her way to the home of a friend, Kari Coad. The two had planned to ride their scooters to a doughnut shop before heading to work, Coad said in an e-mail.

"Kim loved that scooter. She bought it this spring in memory of her beloved grandpa who rode a moped," Coad said.

Performed with choirs

Stevenson, who is originally from Connecticut, was a member of the Prairie Fire Lady Choir and had also performed with the Twin Cities Women's Choir, Coad said.

"It was her life," said Lee, speaking of Stevenson's passion for music. "It's just what made her her. Kids and music. That was her thing."

On Monday, Stevenson sang the national anthem with the Prairie Fire Lady Choir at the St. Paul Saints baseball game. The next day, she sang with the Twin Cities Women's Choir at the Minnesota Lynx basketball game.

Both groups issued statements Thursday. The Women's Choir called Stevenson "a bright spot in our community." The Prairie Fire Lady Choir said it "will think of Kim and her sunny, bright spirit whenever we sing together."

Besides her work with music, Stevenson also was a professional nanny.

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