• Family: Mother tried to kill herself after deadly crash involving 9-year-old daughter

    By: Jim Spiewak

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The mother of the woman who crashed her car into a tree that killed her 9-year-old daughter wants everyone to know she’s a good person.  

    Racqual Conner is a single mom raising her kids. That changed Sunday when she crashed her car into a tree in a residential neighborhood in Orange Mound.   

    PHOTOS: 9-year-old killed in car accident, mom charged

    Tammy Conner, Racqual’s mom says, “We may never understand why they took (pauses, cries) my baby.”  

    Tammy says Racqual just picked up her three kids from the babysitter Sunday after performing a rap show at a local nightclub.  

    RELATED: Child dies after mother falls asleep, crashes in Orange Mound

    Police say Racqual fell asleep at the wheel and crashed. Her 9-year-old daughter Jaliyah Lewis died.  

    “There are no words for how I feel, this is a whole different kind of hurt,” Tammy says.  

    Already knowing one of her grandkids died, Tammy went to see her daughter at the hospital.  

    She walked in to see her heavily sedated adding, “I thought I had lost two. It wasn't time.”  

    Tammy said Racqual tried to take her own life that night.


    A nurse walked in to see a pillow case tied around her neck and quickly unwrapped it in time. Now Racquel is on suicide watch at the jail.  

    That's where Tammy talked to her on the phone on Tuesday. “Ohhh, she said mamma I did not try to hurt my baby, I know she didn't,” Tammy says.  

    Racqual’s two other kids were in the accident. 7-month-old Azay Conner was not injured. 5-year-old Monroe Lewis got a few scratches on his face.


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    “He don't understand that dying means you ain’t never coming back and me. I don't know how to explain that to a child that don't understand death,” Tammy says of Monroe’s understanding of what happened.  

    Azay is currently staying with Tammy. Monroe is with his dad. Tammy said Racqual will one day be reunited, adding, “She going to raise her own babies because she's going to get out.”  

    Racqual is charged with driving on a suspended license. The family says she was trying to make a living for her kids and needed to get around town.  

    The family is having a public vigil at this spot, on Wednesday at 8 p.m.

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