The girls, whom several media outlets have identified as Reina As-Salaam, of East Point, and Juliana Ferrell and Monica Epps, both of Cobb County, had been at a local pool in Kennesaw and were walking down Barrett Lakes Parkway to get a drink when the car struck them, according to Ike Reighard, pastor of Piedmont Church in Marietta. Barrett Lakes Parkway is just west of Town Center Mall.
As-Salaam, 15, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Ferrell was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital with life-threatening injuries and Epps was taken to the same hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“(Ferrell is) your typical teenage girl, she enjoys life and is full of life, and now her life hangs in the balance,” said Reighard, who has known her family through the church for several years. “She was in critical condition. Her mom called me on Sunday
night and then I met another couple of our staff members. We went up to the emergency room and met the parents of the young lady that was killed.”
Ferrell and Epps, both 16, attend Sprayberry High School. Ferrell and As-Salaam were childhood friends in East Point before Ferrell moved to Cobb. Epps, who was not injured as severely as the other two, was farthest from the road when the car struck.
As-Salaam attended Tri-Cities High School in East Point, a city where her mother, Rashida Oliver, serves as chief judge.
Reighard said Oliver, despite her own loss, was doing her best to give comfort to Ferrell’s mother.
“I’m watching the mother — a judge down in East Point — I’m watching her try to give comfort to Jane,” he said. “She’s just found out her daughter did not survive, but her heart as a mother was comforting another mother.”
Wayne Callett, a former youth pastor at Piedmont who lives in Powder Springs, said he watched Ferrell grow up in the church.
“I’ve got a daughter the same age as her, and they are worried about makeup and hair and where they are going on Friday night, not a car flying around a corner and hitting them,” Callett said.
Callett described Ferrell’s condition as “touch and go,” adding that the girl has a severe brain injury and remains in critical condition.
“I went into the hospital Sunday night with her mom around 1:30 or 2 a.m. It was the first time I’d seen her not smiling,” Callett said. “To look at her and see how senseless it is. That’s what I don’t understand. It was over something stupid.”
The Ferrell family is asking for prayers.
“This has been a life-changing event,” the family said in a prepared statement. “Our daughter is a beautiful, fun-loving, full-of-life young lady with a smile on her face always. Her name is Juliana Hope Ferrell, and hope is what we have right now. She is a child of the one living God and he is the great healer. We’re putting our trust in him at this time. We covet your prayers for not only this family but the Epps family and the As-Salaam family.”
Tansu Kanlica, 27, of Atlanta, lost control of his 2004 Nissan 350z on Barrett Lakes Parkway while pursuing a customer who had driven off without paying him $175 for locksmith services, according to Cobb police. During the chase, police say, Kanlica collided with the three teenagers, who were walking on the sidewalk.
According to arrest warrants, Kanlica did not stop after running down the victims, but plowed through several shrubs and drove up a nearby embankment before continuing the chase. Police say he pulled into a nearby shopping center to remove a branch from the undercarriage of his car before attempting to flee the scene.
Kanlica was arrested when he stopped on the Canton Road Connector to arrange alternate transportation, according to police.
Kanlica was charged with reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, hit and run, first degree homicide by vehicle and two counts of serious injury by vehicle.
Police have also charged the customer whom Kanlica was chasing when the accident occurred. Garrett Anderson, 23, of Kennesaw, called Georgia Lock & Key to have someone unlock his car, investigators said. After Kanlica unlocked Anderson’s 2012 Mistubishi Lancer, police said Anderson sped off without paying Kanlica the $175 fee for the service. Anderson was charged with theft of services, reckless driving, two counts of serious injury by vehicle and first-degree homicide by vehicle. Both men are in Cobb jail without bond.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help pay for Ferrell’s medical expenses. The page can be found at www.gofundme.com/9k8eco and the family is hoping to raise up to $100,000 through the fundraising website. Anyone with information about the crash that may assist investigators is asked to call Cobb police at (770) 499-3987.