Mother killed in fiery crash despite best efforts of those who tried to help

Tommie Johnson, a former firefighter, jumped into action to save the car crash victims. (Source: Tommie Johnson)
Tommie Johnson, a former firefighter, jumped into action to save the car crash victims. (Source: Tommie Johnson)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Several people went the extra mile in an effort to save complete strangers after a fiery crash on I-240 near Lamar Avenue on Saturday night.

Investigators said 32-year-old Latashia "Tasha" Taylor was riding in the front passenger seat of the car. She was killed in the crash. The man who was driving somehow ran off the road, hitting a fence and a tree before the car caught fire. That man is in critical condition. A 2-year-old boy who was in the backseat during the crash is expected to be OK.

Memphis Police Department said no charges have been filed against the driver at this time.

When Tommie Johnson, a former firefighter, saw the car catch fire, he pulled over and grabbed his ax to break the car's windows.

"Didn't think of nothing to do, but to go in and do all I can do," Johnson said. "The tree was already in here, the dash was already on her, she was up in there, he was unconscious, the baby was in the back hollering."

Johnson and several others pulled the driver and the 2-year-old boy from the burning car before first responders showed up. According to MPD, a few of those people even drove them to the hospital.

"When I come around to proceed around to get to the young lady, it was too late, she was already gone," Johnson said.

That's when he said the car went up in flames.

Latashia Taylor died on scene. Her friends say she was a hard-working mother who loved her family.

"I want to give my condolences to the family...that I tried my all to do," Johnson said.

Taylor's sister said there will be a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. Tuesday. It will be held at 343 Cauthen Circle in Senatobia, Mississippi.

Johnson said he wishes he could've done more to save Taylor, but for now, he's praying for a speedy recovery for the driver and the 2-year old boy he helped pull to safety.

"I thought about my child, that could have been my child," Johnson said.

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