Zander Shantea McCrea called her grandmother, who raised her, just about every day.
She was making that call from a pay phone Saturday morning when she was struck by a car that ran off Wrightsboro Road, said Ms. McCrea's great aunt, Eartha Johnson.
The 21-year-old Sitel Inc. employee and a private with the Georgia Army National Guard's 878th Engineer Battalion died from her injuries Monday at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
"She was very close to her grandmother," Ms. Johnson said. "(Her grandmother) was really hurt because she wasn't able to talk to her since the accident."
At about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Ms. McCrea, of the 200 block Fox Trace, was struck outside the Smart Grocery store on Wrightsboro Road, just east of the North Leg Road intersection, by a Cadillac Fleetwood that came over the curb.
The driver, Charles Jacobs Jr., of the 2200 block of Walden Drive, faces one count of second-degree vehicular homicide, Richmond County sheriff's Col. Gary Powell said. He was also cited for failure to yield while entering or crossing a road.
According to a police accident report, Mr. Jacobs was trying to exit the Firestone Tire & Service Center parking lot, cross over Wrightsboro Road, then pull into the grocery store's parking lot. While he was in the middle of the road, an eastbound vehicle struck his left rear bumper.
The impact sent his car veering out of control. It crossed the two westbound lanes of Wrightsboro Road and crashed into the pay phone Ms. McCrea was using.
The driver of the eastbound vehicle fled the scene and has not been found, according to police. Witnesses disagreed over the vehicle's make and color.
After the accident, deputies removed several advertising signs that might have obstructed Mr. Jacobs' view, the police report said.
Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.