Woman killed, toddler and man hospitalized following car crash - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Woman killed, toddler and man hospitalized following car crash

Crashed car can be seen on the left of the image. (Source: WMC Action News 5) Crashed car can be seen on the left of the image. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A man, woman, and child were involved in a single-car crash Tuesday afternoon.

Memphis Police Department said the crash happened before 12:30 p.m. on Shelby Drive and Gill Road.

Investigators said the male driver of a blue Chevrolet HHR lost control of the vehicle while driving eastbound on Shelby Drive. A female passenger in the car died. A toddler, who was also in the car, and the male driver were taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Earline Richmond, who lives nearby, said she is never surprised when there are accidents in the area. She said it's dangerous.

"They drive fast on Shelby," Richmond said.

However, Tuesday's accident was different than most of the crashes.

"They must have just lost control," Richmond said. "I wouldn't have believed that they had a bad one, a real bad, that bad."

The driver of the vehicle was taken to Regional Medical Center in non-critical condition. The toddler, who was in the backseat of the vehicle, was taken to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical. However, the child has since been upgraded to stable. 

"It hurts. For the entire family, it hurts," Richmond said. 

Friends and family said the driver told them his steering wheel locked up and when he finally jarred it loose it caused the car to swerve suddenly to the left, across oncoming traffic, and nose-down into the ditch.

"Our STIS unit will come and we will look into all the...kind of figure out what happened here," Memphis Police Department's Lt. Col. Gregory Sanders said. "As far as the car steering wheel went out, all that--they'll get to the bottom of it through the course of the investigation." 

No matter the cause of the accident, a toddler is now left without a mother.

"I just pray. Just pray for the family," Richmond said.

It's unclear what model year HHR the family was driving, but 2009 and 2010 HHR models did have a recall issued two years ago due to some cars experiencing unexpected loss of power steering.

It's unclear if that's what happened here, but it's certainly part of the investigation.

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