Police investigate accident that killed 3-year-old girl - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jamel Major

Police investigate accident that killed 3-year-old girl

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A Mid-South man faced several charges Thursday in connection with the death of his three-year-old daughter. 

Police say Tommy Lee, 31, was behind the wheel of a car that crashed in north Memphis late Wednesday night. The impact killed the young girl, who was asleep in the back seat.

Lee's arrest caught his neighbor, Arthur Jackson, by surprise.

"It touches me that he got kids and put them in that type of danger," Jackson said. "I would never in my life do that to my kids."

Police charged Lee with driving on a suspended license, and violation of a child restraint law.

Lee's daughter, three-year old Jaqueasia Riley, was sleeping in the back seat of the car when the vehicle spun out of control, struck a guard rail, and flipped.   She died at the scene of the crash.

Her 10-year-old sister, also in the car at the time of the accident, was transported to Lebonheur Children's Medical Center in non-critical condition. 

Jackson said he saw Lee on the day of the crash.

"He was going out of the driveway hitting about 15 or 20," Jackson said. "He's a crazy driver.  Why would you even have your kids in that type of danger?  That's irresponsible.  You can't do that like that.  You can't do that."

Authorities said the three-year-old was not in a child safety seat.  According to Susan Helms with Safe Kids MidSouth, motor vehicle crashes are a leading killer of children.

According to Helms, in the Memphis-Shelby County area, nearly 95 percent of child safety seats are either misused or have not been properly installed.

"It's always heart wrenching when you hear about the death of a child, especially in a car crash when you know they weren't properly secured in a child safety seat," Helms said.

Police are still trying to determine what caused the crash.  A police spokesperson said an investigation is ongoing, pending official toxicology reports.

Click here to send an email to Jamel Major.

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