Couple slammed by car expected to recover, family says

LAWRENCEVILLE -- An elderly Lawrenceville couple run over in a crosswalk last week remain hospitalized with numerous broken bones but are expected to eventually recover, a family member said Wednesday.

Married 47 years, Jerry McEachin, 72, and wife, Jeanette, 68, were crossing Taylor Road about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, en route to watch their youngest grandson, Zachery, play baritone in a Collins Hill High School band concert.

Police believe the driver of a Ford Focus swerved around another car into the center lane and plowed the couple, sending them skidding across the pavement a few feet from the school campus.

Following the accident, "the whole tenor of the (band concert) kind of sunk," said the couple's son, Jerry McEachin, 42, father of the baritone player. "A lot of folks knew them."

The elder Jerry McEachin, an electrician in the Gwinnett area for 40-plus years, suffered a skull fracture and broken left leg and ankle. His wife, a longtime receptionist at Gwinnett County Fire Department headquarters, broke her legs. Both were dealt major concussions, but scans have shown that cranial bleeding and bruising is subsiding, their son said.

"It sounds like they're going to be dealing with this for a long, long time from a pain perspective," he said.

Police have charged the driver, Logan Barton, 20, of Lawrenceville, with reckless driving, serious injury by vehicle, improper passing and failing to yield for pedestrians.

Grandparents to three boys, the McEachin's are devout Christians with a soft spot for Southern gospel music, their son said. A planned New Year's trip to Nashville's OpryLand will be indefinitely postponed.

Both are recovering at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville.