Truck driver charged after 5-year-old girl killed in I-240 accident


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A truck driver was arrested after a three-car crash that killed a girl just one day shy of her birthday, and injured three others on I-240 on Monday.

According to police, Herandus Washington was driving a delivery truck westbound on I-240 when he made an improper lane change and struck the front of a Toyota 4Runner. The impact sent the Toyota into the back of a Nissan which had slowed for traffic near I-55.

Officers say a father, his 4-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, Collins Leach, were in the 4Runner.

Collins, a first grader at St. Louis Catholic School, didn’t survive the wreck. Tuesday would have been her 6th birthday, family said.

Herandus Washington

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich spoke on the sitaution, calling it a tragedy for all.

“It’s going to be our job and the job of the system to make sure justice is done,” Weirich said.

Witnesses on the scene told police that Washington had been driving recklessly without regard to the safety of others.

He was arrested and charged with reckless driving, vehicular homicide and improper lane changing.

“Multiple times he went over the yellow line and at one time, I thought he was actually going to lose control before it got to the wreck,” witness Kristen Eisan said.

Eisan said she is a nurse so she pulled over to help. Others pulled over too.

“The little boy, he got out without a scratch. The dad appeared to have a concussion,” Eisan said. “The little girl Collins, like I said, I don’t know how the guys got her out.”

On Tuesday, the Catholic Diocese of Memphis released a statement saying in part they are saddened by the tragic loss of their student and sent prayers to her family.

“…We ask for the Lord’s prayers from the community for Collins and her family. There are no other words at this time to describe the sadness and heartbreak that we all share for the loss of Collins…”

Catholic Dioceses of Memphis

Washington is set to be in court Wednesday morning.

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