Woman and child dead after leap from I-40 overpass, striking truck

Tennessee police say that a young woman and her child both perished early this morning after the woman allegedly jumped off an interstate overpass.

Tonisha Lashay Barker, 26, and her child died shortly after midnight on Monday, January 4, in Madison County, Tennessee.

According to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, police were initially called to a Shell gas station at 151 Law Road when Barker reportedly tried to hit a gas pump with her vehicle.

Witnesses told police that Barker soon got out of her car, took the child in her arms, and walked towards the I-40 overpass.

Minutes later, police say that they received a call from a truck driver traveling on I-40 near Exit 93 who said that “a large object” fell from the overpass and hit his truck.

Police later found both Barker and the child dead at the scene.

Barker “evidently chose to jump off with the child in her hands,” police say, and her death is being investigated as a suicide.

The motive for the incident remains under investigation.