Grandmother of 9-year-old killed in crash in Orange Mound speaks

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A mother who fell asleep behind the wheel is recovering after crashing into a tree early Sunday morning in Orange Mound while her three children were in the car.

Her 9-year-old daughter Jaliya Lewis, who was a passenger in the car, died from her injuries.

"They have to keep her sedated, because every time she wake up the reality the baby is not here hits her," Tammy Conner, Jaliya's grandmother said.

Racqual Conner is a rapper, so after performing in a show Saturday night she picked up her three children from their babysitter and headed home.

They were just block away when the crashed happened.

Kerwin Luckett helped the family escape from the truck, but said he did not know 9-year-old Jaliya was in the car.

"We started searching for the other child. Come to find out the other child was covered under the blankets that was on the floor board."

Jaliya suffered head injuries and medics could not resesitate her.

Her family says she was a vibrant young model, musician and honors student with such a bright future.

She was an all-around awesome person. I can't think of a bad thought affiliated with this child," Jaliya's aunt, Jessica Myles, said.

Racqual Conner has been charged with criminally negligent homicide, driving with a suspended license and no insurance and three counts of violation of the child restrain law.

"I don't want to hear none of that, because my only thing is that my first born daughter has just lost her first born daughter and nothing else should matter," Tammy said.

There were also two other children in the car, a 7-month-old and a 5-year-old.

The 5-year-old boy was released from Le Bonheur Sunday and the 7-month-old boy should be discharged Monday. Their mother is still trying to come to terms with what happened.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Jaliya's funeral arrangements.

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