Three girls, Reina As-Salaam of East Point, Ferrell and Monica Epps, also of Cobb County, had been at a local pool in Kennesaw on Sunday 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, authorities said. 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 was in intensive care all week, and took a turn for the worse at about 5 a.m. Friday, Reighard said. Hours later, she died in the hospital.
“Times like these will trouble any person’s faith, but I’ve found that it’s better to have a troubled faith than no faith at all,” Reighard said. “We’ve prayed and hoped for a miracle. The prayers that we were praying were maybe not answered the way we would have liked for them to be answered, but that’s where your faith and trust come into play.”
Reighard described Ferrell as a typical teenage girl who was full of life. Reighard had been visiting the hospital all week in support of the family, who are longtime members of his church.
“Juliana was just an innocent girl on a Memorial Day weekend, walking with friends on a sidewalk and getting ready to go to a movie,” said Reighard. “Life is tissue paper thin. All it takes is one errant driver and your whole world is changed forever.”
Funeral arrangements had not been set as of press time.
Ferrell and Epps, both 16, attended Sprayberry High Schoo.
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. As-Salaam’s funeral was Friday at Word of Faith Love Center in East Point.
Cause of the accident
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.
Kanlica was arrested when he stopped on the Canton Road Connector to arrange alternate transportation, according to police.
According to the warrant, 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. They say Garrett Anderson, 23, of Kennesaw, sped off without paying Kanlica $175 for unlocking his car, police said.
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 and more charges are expected now that Ferrell has died, according to Kim Isaza, spokesperson for the Cobb County District Attorney’s office.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help pay for medical expenses incurred while Ferrell was in the hospital.
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.