"I asked God to heal her and please don't take her away from us ." Family mourns 11-year-old killed in crash

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019
News 12 at 6 O'Clock / NBC 26 at 7

11-year-old Charnia Eccelston died Tuesday morning after a crash.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- While a 27-year-old woman sits in jail, the family of an 11-year-old girl is mourning ahead of the holidays.

11-year-old Charnia Eccelston died Tuesday following a Monday crash on Central Avenue and Whitney Street in Augusta. Richmond County deputies say Aubrey Taylor Newsome was driving under the influence while on Central Ave when she crashed into the car Charnia, her sister, and mother were in.
Charnia’s family tells News 12, the 11-year-old was ejected from the car.

According to the sheriff’s office, Newsome fled the scene and crashed again at another nearby intersection. That crash reportedly injured no additional people.

Meanwhile, Charnia laid on the pavement at the first intersection of Central and Whitney Street as witnesses tried to comfort her as she fought for her life. News 12 obtained eight 911 phone calls where witnesses reported what happened.

Charnia later died early Tuesday morning at the Children's Hospital of Georgia.

27-year-old Aubrey Taylor Newsome, the woman charged in the crash, is accused of failing to render and leaving the scene after the crash.

Additionally, Newsome faces a list of charges including DUI, open container, driving on the wrong side of the roadway, failure to yield, homicide by vehicle.

Charnia's grandmother, Charles Ann Mack, says the last few hours of her granddaughter's life, she spent time with God.

"They just told me that she had a few hours to live, but I prayed and I prayed and I asked God to heal her and please don't take her away from us. Because I couldn't stand for her to be gone from me," Mack cried.

Ripped from the car. Ripped from her mother. Ripped from an entire family, one that can't even answer the question - "what does justice look like for Charnia?" They're keeping with their faith.

"God knows best, though. He let her live until 6 a.m. yesterday morning, so she did live past the time that they gave her. I was in there. And I just held her hand and I just told her that I love her and I will always remember her no matter what."

Thanksgiving will feel exceptionally empty this year for this family. The painful irony is this was the holiday Nia helped with the most, and now she'll be missed the most.

"When in the kitchen when I'm cooking, she's my right hand."

Charnia's sister was also in the car when it was hit and went spinning. Nia was thrown out of the car and landed on the road. Doctors told family members her brain injuries were too traumatic to survive.

"If you an accident that happened that's that bad, how could you have not had the heart to stop?" Mack says she can't understand why Newsome didn't stop.

Instead of being angry, this family is keeping the faith in their hearts, and Charnia in their minds.

"Only eleven but she's in God's arms now, and I know he's taking care of her."

Newsome has a rap sheet dating back to 2013. Back in 2010 she was charged with possession of alcohol by an underage person, in 2013 she was charged for drug possession, and in 2014 it was simple battery.

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