CLEARWATER — Sunday evening, the heavens opened up and rain began to fall over Clearwater Beach.
Ashley Boyle, 44, packed up her things after an afternoon spent lounging with a friend on the sand. The two rushed under the awning of Delta Realty at 604 Mandalay Ave. to stay dry. They sat down on the curb and hoped to wait out the storm.
Forty minutes later, Boyle was trapped under a sport utility vehicle that had crashed through the window of the real estate office.
The driver told police that he had thought his gearshift was in "reverse" when he pressed down on the pedal.
Boyle died from her injuries at Morton Plant Hospital. She was a lifelong resident of Clearwater. She had four children and three grandchildren.
"She was fantastic as a mom — she was loud and crazy and funny," said her daughter, Christina Boyle, 20.
Investigators say the vehicle, a 1998 Toyota Land Cruiser, was parked outside Delta Realty when driver Jonathon Grinsted, 51, accelerated forward and struck Boyle outside the building, dragging her inside.
"The driver thought the car was in reverse, but it was in drive," said Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts.
No charges had been filed as of Monday evening.
Martine Powers can be reached at (727) 445-4224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.