News & Politics

Black Mother Charged with Homicide After Off-Duty Cop Slams Into Her Car at 94 MPH

Police claim the 20-year-old mom failed to secure her baby daughter's car seat.

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A Louisiana woman was arrested on homicide charges after an off-duty police officer crashed into the car she was riding in and killed her baby daughter.

Brittany Stephens wasn’t driving when the Baton Rouge police officer wrecked their car at 94 mph, but police said she failed to properly secure the 1-year-old in her car seat, reported The Advocate.

Stephens, 20, told police she had buckled the child into her seat, but investigators said the girl’s car seat was not secured and the straps were not correctly adjusted for her height.

Officer Christopher Manuel, 28, struck a Nissan carrying four adults and four children about 8pm on Oct. 12 while driving his Corvette at speeds approaching 100 mph, police said. The posted speed limit for that road was 50 mph.

The Nissan driven by 18-year-old Breea Gross was turning left at a green light when Manuel slammed into the car. All eight occupants were hospitalized.

The baby, Seyaira Stephens, later died from her injuries.

Gross was cited for driving without a license, seat belt violation and three counts of child safety restraint violation.

Janice Gross, 40, was cited for allowing an unlicensed driver to drive her vehicle and a seat belt violation, and Seth Eames, 23, was also cited for a seat belt violation.

Manuel, who was also hospitalized after the crash, was arrested Feb. 16 on one count of negligent homicide in the fatal crash. The officer will remain on paid administrative leave until an internal investigation wraps up, but the investigation will not begin until he recovers from his injuries and is released to work by a doctor.

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Travis Gettys is an editor for Raw Story.