Mother charged with homicide because daughter was not wearing seat belt

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A mother faces criminal charges for killing her 9-year-old daughter, who was not wearing a seatbelt in a Sunday morning crash.

Racqual Conner, 30, was not supposed to be driving this weekend when she fell asleep and crashed into a tree.

Memphis Police Department said Conner was driving with a suspended driver's license; now, she also faces a charge of criminally negligent homicide.

Conner was driving on Spottswood Avenue just before 5 a.m. with her three children. None of the children were wearing seatbelts, according to MPD.

Officers said Conner fell asleep while behind the wheel. Her car careened off the road, knocking over a No Trucks sign before slamming into a tree.

Kerwin Lockett lives across the street from where the crash happened.

"When I opened my door up, I heard a cry of a baby, so I rushed out across the street, Lockett said.

Lockett said he saw a 7-month-old and a 5-year-old who had been thrown from the back seat into the front seat of Conner's truck.

He said he never saw the 9-year-old.

"I couldn't just allow death to take them, so mainly what I wanted to do is preserve life," Lockett said.

Lockett got the children out of the car and brought them inside his home.

Police said Conner's 9-year-old daughter, Jaliya Lewis, was covered by debris--that's why Lockett never saw her. First responders found her and rushed her to the hospital, but she could not be saved.

"To leave suddenly like that at a young age, it troubles me. I've been troubled all weekend," Lockett said.

Lockett said he'd like to see speed bumps on Spottswood Avenue because people drive way too fast in the area.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.