Popular Petersburg hair salon owner mourned

Tammie Dingas
Tammie Dingas

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Heavy hearts in Petersburg where people are mourning a beloved hair salon owner killed in a car crash.

42-year-old Tammie Dingas died Friday morning when police said the jeep she was driving flipped several times on Johnson Road. Her friend was hurt and is in stable condition

Dingas owned Curl Up Or Dye hair salon in the heart of Old Town Petersburg. One after another, people stopped by her storefront to drop off flowers and mementos. Her storefront matched her personality: vibrant and full of life!

"She was the party and would do anything for her friends," said Kimberly Ann Calos, another Old Town business owner.

Friends said Dingas' salon was her dream come true after cutting hair for twenty years at the Southpark mall J.C. Penney.

She was nearing her two year anniversary on North Sycamore Street. Calos owns a business nearby.

"It made our street come to life and now we have a void," said Calos.

Those closest to Dingas, some too upset to share memories on camera, stopped by the salon to pay respects. Others sent over bouquets.

Nestled among the colorful arrangements, some of Dingas' favorite things. Someone also tucked flowers in the windshield of her car still parked out front.

"It's so, so sad. I just hurt so badly for all of her friends. She had so many friends," said Calos.

While the investigation remains open, police said it appears Dingas overcorrected her steering and lost control on Johnson Road.

Dingas was found outside the mangled jeep.

Friends said it belonged to her good friend, John Leming. Police said he was the passenger and after the crash walked through a wood-line, found an unlocked car and fell asleep. His relative said Leming was trying to find help.

"She was a great person. Sorely missed," said Pam Cofer.

Cofer knew Dingas for 25 years. A devoted client.

"She didn't always do what you wanted her to do, but she did what was right for you," said Cofer.

Will Carden had a friendship with Dingas that lasted eight years. He now clings to memories in his grief.

"Just her personality. She was just a free spirit," said Carden.

The survivor was transferred from Southside Regional to VCU Medical Center. Police said he's in stable condition.

Friends said Dingas will be laid to rest next Tuesday.

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