Jill Goddard, 61, was killed and three others were injured in the accident on Saturday afternoon
Jill Goddard was killed when a car crashed into a nail salon on Saturday afternoon in Missouri
The car's driver, Goddard's friend Kimberly Langley, was reportedly backing up the vehicle closer to the salon so that she and their third friend, Mary Cates, could dash to the car and avoid the rain
Langley, Cates, and a 17-year-old receptionist suffered minor injuries and were transported to local hospitals
A Missouri woman died and three others were injured when a car backed into a nail salon in a St. Louis suburb on Saturday afternoon.
Jill Goddard, 61, and her friend Mary Cates, 52, were paying at the front desk of Pacific Hair & Nails when a Ford Explorer, reportedly driven by their friend Kimberly Langley, 57, crashed into the salon, according to CBS affiliate KMOV-TV and the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP).
"Basically the driver of the vehicle was going to move the vehicle to another parking space,” Dallas Thompson, MSHP public information officer, told PEOPLE. “Put the vehicle in reverse. The vehicle then backed through the front of the nail salon and struck three people inside.”
Langley reportedly backed the vehicle up closer to the front of the salon so that Goddard and Cates would only have a short run through the rain to get inside.
Goddard was trapped underneath the vehicle, while Cates and Langley suffered minor injuries. A 17-year-old receptionist behind the desk was also injured, per KMOV.
All of the victims were taken to local hospitals, but Goddard was pronounced dead shortly after 3 p.m. local time at Mercy Hospital in Washington, Missouri, according to an MSHP accident report.
Cates, Langley and Goddard were longtime friends who were enjoying their Saturday — first with brunch, and then with a visit to the nail salon in Pacific, Goddard’s father told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Following the death of her husband, Goddard leaned on her friends, who had helped her venture more outside the home, her father, Alan Mostow, said.
"These are the closest friends you ever saw," Mostow, whom Goddard lived with prior to her death, told the newspaper. "These girls were unstoppable. They brought her out of her shell."
Mostow does not hold Langley responsible for his daughter’s death.
On Monday, he spoke with her and told her to “get rid of the guilt,” per the Post-Dispatch.
"Honey ... it's called an accident," Mostow, 83, told Langley. "That is truly an accident."
Now, authorities are investigating the circumstances of the tragedy.
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“At this point we are still investigating to see if this was driver error or mechanical,” MSHP’s Thompson said. “Did the gas pedal stick? Did [her] foot get caught? Did she press gas and mean to press the brake? This is still an ongoing investigation."
According to the Post-Dispatch, Goddard is survived by her father, two children and three grandchildren.
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