MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Seven children were taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital after an early morning crash in Frayser. Police suspect the woman driving was under the influence of drugs.
Police arrived on the scene at Whitney Avenue and Steele Street around 1 a.m. and found a red Dodge Durango smashed into a brick pillar and fence in front of Pleasant View Apartments.
First responders found seven children in the SUV, none of whom were wearing seat belts. One child in the front seat hit the windshield and suffered a broken jaw, according to police.
Shirley Herring, the driver and mom of all seven children, was given a breathalyzer test after investigators suspected she had been drinking.
Herring's uncle says he's shocked to hear these allegations.
"She's not a bad mother, she's a good mother, she make sure the kids eat, she's a single parent," said Herring's uncle. "I can't see her doing that."
But Herring's Facebook page paints a different picture — photos of what appear to show her holding a handful of marijuana cigars in one hand, and posing as if she's smoking one in the other.
According to a police report, Herring had red, glassy eyes when they arrived on scene. She told police that she "smoked a blunt earlier in the day," then said she did not smoke earlier but did the day before.
WMC Action News 5 learned Herring has been arrested before for not wearing a seatbelt and driving without a license.
People who live near the crash scene couldn't believe it.
Kevon Montague said, "Yeah that's real devastating there. I think it's really irresponsible. They have a responsibility to take care of their child."
Police say the seven kids in the car were not wearing seatbelts. Herring's uncle says the children are now staying with family and are expected to be OK.