CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The mother of a 4-month-old baby girl killed in a crash was arrested Saturday morning, according to police. Eighteen-year-old Kayla Marie Davis has been charged with felony child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. Davis was not driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.
Davis and father of Londyn Johnson say they are not angry with the man who was driving the car that landed on their baby girl Tuesday. But on Thursday they did not appear in court to support the driver, Thabiti Pierre-Louis for his first appearance.
A passenger inside the vehicle says she never saw the driver drinking before the deadly crash even though police have charged him with DWI.
The wreck happened Tuesday on the 8000 block of Old Statesville Road, right in front of Charlotte Fire Department station 28, just before 3 p.m.
Four-month-old Londyn Johnson was killed in the wreck, according to people who were inside the vehicle. Five other people were injured in the crash.
It's been an emotional 24 hours for the friends and relatives of Londyn Johnson. A road-side memorial on Old Statesville Road marks the spot where she died Tuesday afternoon.
Kayla Davis came to the memorial with a bruise over her eye and walking on crutches. She told WBTV she loves her daughter.
The baby's aunt, Kuriyuna Robinson, was in the back seat at the time of the wreck. "All I know is we were swerving. He lost control of the car and I seen the pole. And he hit the pole and that's all I remember," said Robinson about the driver.
Police say the driver, 21-year-old Thabiti Ashim Pierre-Louis, was charged at the hospital for DWI, child seat violation, and over-crowding a vehicle.
When he was released from the hospital, he was taken to jail and served warrants for felony death by motor vehicle, reckless driving, possession of marijuana, and child neglect.
Police say Pierre-Louis was driving a 2000 Nissan Altima "recklessly and at a high rate of speed while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage" when he attempted to pass another vehicle and lost control of his car.
The Altima slid off the right side of the road and struck a telephone pole near the driver's door before flipping and landing on its roof.
Police say that when the car flipped the infant, that was not in a car seat and was being held by a passenger in the back seat, was ejected from the vehicle.
When the car came to a final rest, it landed on top of the child.
The baby's father, Javone Johnson says the driver was Londyn's babysitter and what happened was a mistake.
"I can't vouch for everything else that was going on. I just don't want him to be blamed for the murder, sorry, the death of my baby," said Johnson.
Robinson, who was inside the vehicle when it crashed, says baby Londyn was in a car seat earlier in the day.
"They came to pick me up from school after exams and we had went to the swimming pool but her car seat was in the trunk so we couldn't all fit with the car seat in there," said Robinson, "So we just put her on her lap and we were literally like 2 minutes away from the house."
That's when they took the car seat out of the backseat and Johnson's mother, Kayla Davis, sat in the middle of the seat holding Londyn.
Robinson says when the accident happened Londyn was still in her mother's arms.
She says the family became friends with Pierre-Louis when they moved to Charlotte from Wisconsin.
While police say he'd been drinking on Tuesday, Robinson says she never saw him drinking. Robinson believes he lost control of the car before the wreck.
Scott Roach saw the accident happen. "He was coming this way, he changed lanes and clipped the other car, and that's when he went airborne," he said.
Roach tells WBTV that he rushed to the scene and saw a baby in the backseat.
"Motionless, that's all I saw. Maybe six to eight months, it was very young," Roach said. "He did not have the child in a car seat."
Medic transported Pierre-Louis along with Davis, 18-year-old Tyra Ware, 18-year-old Anthony Johnson, and a 15-year-old Kuriyuna Robinson to Carolinas Medical Center.
Pierre-Louis, officials said, had serious injuries. The other four victims are expected to be okay and were released from the hospital.
Everyone who survived is out of the hospital but they're still in pain.
"She's hurt. We're all hurt," said Robinson.
Ronovan Hooker wasn't surprised to hear about the accident. His two sons attend an after school program, just feet away from the crash site.
"I knew this was going to happen sooner or later, I'm just happy kids weren't outside playing," Hooker said.
Hooker says it's not uncommon to see cars flying down Old Statesville Road.
"They need to post more speed limit signs, or let them know this is a quote on quote school zone, for the kids that are getting on and off the bus," Hooker said.
The family says they plan to hold the funeral for Londyn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Pierre-Louis' first appearance in court is Thursday, May 29.
Pierre-Louis appeared on a video monitor before a judge Thursday afternoon. Pierre-Louis did not speak because there was a lawyer to represent him. Londyn's parents weren't in court, but Pierre-Louis' family was in court, including his mom, brother, sister-in-law and sisters. They had no comment for reporters after the first appearance hearing Pierre-Louis remains behind bars. The judge set his bond hearing from June 11, 2014.
They also say this is an ongoing investigation and more people could be charged.