Louisiana Mom Arrested in Death of Toddler Daughter in Car Crash Allegedly Caused by Off-Duty Cop
A Baton Rouge policeman was allegedly driving over 90 miles an hour in a Corvette when he struck an SUV carrying 8 people
Two people have been arrested following a fatal car crash in Louisiana that killed a 1-year-old girl: the off-duty policeman accused of causing the accident, and the toddler’s mother, who was riding in the same vehicle as the toddler.
ABC News reports the allegations come more than four months after the Oct. 12, 2017, wreck in Baton Rouge that killed 1-year-old Seyaira Stephens. Police allege the accident was caused by Baton Rouge officer Christopher Manuel, 28, who was arrested two weeks ago for negligent homicide.
According to ABC News, Manuel was traveling over 90 miles an hour when his Corvette struck an SUV carrying 20-year-old Brittany Stephens and Seyaira. The young mother was arrested Tuesday, also for negligent homicide, for allegedly failing to properly restrain her daughter.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
New details in the case emerged Thursday, as police alleged Seyaira’s car seat was resting on the front center console of the SUV, wedged between the driver’s and front passenger seats, and not secured in place with seat belts, reports The Advocate of Baton Rouge.
Stephens was sitting in the rear of the vehicle.
The force of the crash caused the SUV to roll over.
The paper obtained a copy of her arrest report, which apparently alleges the “lack of securing the seat to the vehicle and the loose straps are a contributing factor in the death” of the toddler and “show gross negligence” on Stephens’ part.
Seyaira was transported to the hospital immediately after the wreck, but was pronounced dead.
Sevaira’s death was ruled an accident by coroners; she died from blunt force trauma to the neck with a fracture of the cervical spine and a contusion of the cervical spinal cord.
• For more compelling True Crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard
The Advocate‘s coverage indicates the SUV, which has five seats, was allegedly carrying eight people when the Corvette slammed into it.
No one in the SUV was wearing seat belts at the time, according to WAFB.
PEOPLE was unable to reach Stephens or Manuel — both out on bond — for comment, and attorneys for both were also unavailable.
Prosecutors have yet to file formal charges in the matter, and continued to review the evidence in the case.
Manuel is on paid administrative leave as he awaits a pre-termination hearing.