Jennarae Nicole Goodbar was chasing after her dog, Cash, on Saturday when the two were struck by a car that didn’t have time to stop. The 12-year-old and her beloved pup were killed together — and now they will be buried together too, according to the girl’s mom, Donna Jean Stuples.
Goodbar was training Cash when the canine took off onto Route 60 in Rockbridge County, Va. The girl made the split-second decision to run after the dog, family members told Fox 5. Police are still investigating, but it appears to simply be a tragic accident. “Goodbar was chasing the family dog when she entered the roadway and was struck by the vehicle,” Virginia State Police Senior Trooper R.E. Tackett said.
Stuples said her daughter was enamored with the dog. “She bought her with her own cash. It was her baby,” she said. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family cover the costs associated with their unexpected loss. On the page, Stuples writes of her daughter, “She will always be remembered as a sweet, energetic, dog loving, hunting loving little girl — a little girl who touched the lives of many.”
As of Tuesday, donations had surpassed the page’s $15,000 goal, and the grieving mom updated the page to thank everyone for their donations, saying she was “overwhelmed” by their generosity. “I want to thank every single person from the bottom of my broken heart for what they have given. I can’t get over it. I can’t find the right words to say to show how much I appreciate this,” she wrote, adding that she’s been trying her best to stay strong, but often feels she’s getting weaker.
Other parents who donated shared stories of their own children being fatally struck by cars. “At times I can almost smell his breath and body, but when I look over my shoulder, he is not there,” one mother wrote of her 23-month-old son, who was tragically killed in a parking lot.
Stuples also updated her Facebook in an homage to her daughter, posting a picture of the smiling preteen with her blond hair blowing in the breeze. She captioned the post, “I love & miss you so much!”A funeral service for Jennarae and her dog will take place on Saturday in Lexington, Va. “On the day of the service [Cash] will be placed in there with [Jennarae] and be buried together,” Stuples said.