MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) — A Tennessee sheriff's office is investigating after authorities say a young woman jumped off an I-40 overpass with a child in her arms and both were killed.
Tonisha Lashay Barker, 26, and a child died just after midnight Monday morning on I-40 near Exit 93, the Madison County Sheriff's Office reports.
MCSO Public Information Officer Tom Maples said deputies first responded to a crash at a Shell gas station at 151 Law Road, just off Exit 93, regarding a woman who had apparently tried to hit a gas pump.
911 callers said they witnessed the woman then get out of the car with a small child, walk to the I-40 overpass and disappear.
A few minutes later, a truck driver near Exit 93 called 911 saying that "a large object" fell from the bridge and struck his truck. Deputies responded to find Barker and a child dead at the scene.
While the incident is still under investigation, Maples said the woman "evidently chose to jump off with the child in her hands."
Barker's death is being classified as a suicide and the child's death is under investigation, Maples said. Right now, authorities are investigating motives, details into the situation and what the intent was behind it.
Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Madison County Fire Department both assisted in the investigation.