A truck driver reported hitting Tonisha Lashay Barker after she leapt from the overpass

By Chris Harris
January 05, 2021 01:46 PM
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Tonisha Lashay Barker, Johnathan Jones
Tonisha Lashay Barker, Johnathan Jones
| Credit: Facebook

A 26-year-old Tennessee woman jumped from an overpass early Monday morning, killing herself and her toddler son, whom she was holding.

A spokesman for the Madison County Sheriff's Office tells PEOPLE the fatal incident happened shortly after midnight.

Tonisha Lashay Barker has been identified as the mother who leapt from overpass, just south of exit 93 on Interstate 40.

Deputies were summoned to a gas station in Jackson just after midnight, after receiving reports that a female driver was trying to crash her vehicle into the fuel tanks.

As deputies were making their way there, other calls came in from witnesses who said the woman got out of her vehicle with a small child, walked over to the interstate overpass, and vanished.

"A few minutes later, Dispatch received another call from a truck driver stating that a large object fell from the bridge and struck his truck as he was traveling west bound on I-40 at the Exit 93 bridge," reads a statement from police.

Deputies arrived to find the two bodies in the roadway.

Barker's son, Johnathan Jones, was just 21 months old.

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Police have yet to speculate on a potential motive for the murder-suicide.

The incident remains under investigation by the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.