Mother, 26, jumps from a Tennessee overpass with her baby son in her arms, killing them both

‘Depressed’ COVID testing site worker, 26, jumps from a Tennessee overpass with her 21-month-old son in her arms, killing them both

  • Tonisha Barker, 26, jumped to her death from I-40 overpass in Madison County with her 21-month-old son, Jonathan Jones, in her arms 
  • Truck driver called 911 to report ‘a large object’ had fallen from overpass and struck his vehicle, leading deputies to discover mother and child’s bodies
  • Prior to incident, eyewitness reported seeing Barker trying to crash into a gas pump at a nearby gas station 
  • Barker’s grandmother said she had been depressed in recent days; until last month she had worked at a COVID testing center  

By Snejana Farberov For Dailymail.com

Published: 14:42, 5 January 2021 | Updated: 22:36, 5 January 2021

A suicidal young mother jumped from a Tennessee highway overpass overnight with her toddler son in her arms, killing them both.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Department has launched an investigation into the deaths of 26-year-old Tonisha Lashay Barker, of Memphis, and her son, who has been identified by family members as 21-month-old Jonathan Jones.

According to officials, the incident began unfolding before midnight on Monday, when deputies received 911 calls about a woman who had attempted to crash into a gas pump at the Shell gas station on Law Road.

Former COVID testing site employee Tonisha Barker, 26, jumped to her death from a Tennessee overpass with her 21-month-old son, Jonathan Jones (pictured together), in her arms, killing him as well 

Mother, 26, jumps from a Tennessee overpass with her baby son in her arms, killing them both

Barker walked over to the I-40 overpass in Madison County after midnight on Monday and jumped with her son in her arms 

Mother, 26, jumps from a Tennessee overpass with her baby son in her arms, killing them both

Prior to the incident, passing drivers report seeing Barker attempting to crash into a gas pump at this Shell gas station 

Witnesses who called 911 said they observed the woman get out of her car with a small child and walk over to the nearby Interstate 40 overpass, never to return, reported WREG.

A few minutes later, authorities got a call from a truck driver reporting that his vehicle was struck by ‘a large object’ that fell from the bridge.

Deputies who responded to the scene near Exit 93 found the bodies of Barker and her son.

Sheriff’s spokesperson Tom Maples told WKRN deputies are now trying to determine what might have motivated Barker to end her and her son’s lives.

Mother, 26, jumps from a Tennessee overpass with her baby son in her arms, killing them both

A truck driver reported that ‘a large object’ had fallen from the overpass onto his vehilce near exit 3, leading deputies to the bodies of Barker and her son (pictured) 

The woman’s grandmother said she had been depressed in recent days.

Her job at a COVID-19 testing site had ended last month. 

Barker’s death is being classified as a suicide and Jonathan’s death is under investigation. 

For confidential support call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255 

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