A Tennessee woman and her infant son plunged to their death after jumping from a highway overpass. Tonisha Lashay Barker, 26, held her baby, 21-month-old Jonathan Jones, in her arms when she jumped on Monday, January 3, and both mother and son were pronounced dead at the scene, WREG reports. This was a horrific tragedy that illustrates just how much many people are struggling during the COVID crisis.
COVID test site worker has died along with her toddler after she jumped from an overpass with her kid in her arms.
The pair were identified as Tonisha Lashay Barker, 26, and her son, 21-month-old Jonathan Jones.
The incident reportedly took place just after 12.30am on Monday pic.twitter.com/KrEnJIkuSB
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- Barker had recently lost her job. According to reports, Barker was working at a coronavirus testing center but had recently lost her job. It’s unclear why she was let go, but it’s likely the added stress of struggling financially may have added to Barker’s distress. Her grandmother spoke to local media and revealed that Barker suffered from depression.
- Jumping from the overpass was Barker’s last resort. Local news affiliate WBBJ revealed that prior to jumping from the overpass, Barker had tried to ram her car into a gas pump at a station outside the town of Jackson. However, this proved unsuccessful, so she got the baby out of the car and began walking, eventually ending up at the overpass.
- A passing trucker reported the tragedy. A trucker called authorities to report that a “large object” had fallen from the overpass. Police responded to the scene, where they discovered the bodies of Barker and her son just near Exit 93 on I-40. “It’s heartbreaking,’’ Madison County Sheriff John Mehr told WBBJ.
- This is such sad, sad news. In addition to cutting her own life way too short, she also felt there was no other way out than to take her son’s life as well. Many would argue that it was selfish and cruel, and perhaps it was, but there’s no doubt Barker was under severe distress when she decided that jumping from an overpass would be better than facing life’s troubles. RIP to both of them.