ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY (WDBJ7) -- Members of the Rockbridge community were still trying to come to grips Monday with the loss of one of their own, a young girl who was killed Saturday in a tragic accident.
12-year-old JennaRae Goodbar died Saturday when she was struck by a car on the Midland Trail west of Lexington while trying to save one of her dogs, which had run across the road.
“(She was) Such a strong, young girl," remembered family friend Alexis Cash. "And such a tragic loss.”
A life snatched away too soon along a stretch of highway.
“That’s a dangerous road,” Cash said of that part of Midland Trail.
JennaRae ran out to save her dog, named Cash, which had run into the road.
“That dog was very special to her, because she trained it and raised it herself,” Alexis Cash says.
So it was only natural when she reacted to save it.
“She was an avid hunter, and she adored her dogs," said Maury River Middle School Principal Billy Thomas. "That’s one thing that so many folks have mentioned today, her love of her animals, and particularly her dogs that she hunted with.”
“Nobody can believe that this happened to a 12-year-old and that the impact that she had on the community as a 12-year-old is just astounding," Alexis Cash said. "And how upsetting it all is that it happened to her.”
Down the sixth grade hall at Maury River Middle School, classmates have left notes on JennaRae’s locker.
“Today was a very somber day in our halls,” Thomas said.
The notes show youngsters trying to come to grips with the loss of their classmate.
Thompson, however, said the school community, and those around it, have pulled together.
“Rockbridge being the small rural area that it is, the fact that everyone knows someone or is related to someone or has a friend somehow connected with everyone else," Thomas explained. "You know, a tragedy like this just tears at the heart of our community.”
“It’s just sad," Cash said. "She had so much more life, and it ended so quickly.”