Couple Says Drunk Hit & Run Driver Killed Their Unborn Baby
Mary Jean Frances
LAFAYETTE, Tenn. - A woman, more than 8 months pregnant, said she lost her unborn baby because of a drunk driver who sped off after rear-ending her. It happened at a Macon County pharmacy drive thru.
That was last Wednesday. On Sunday, Beverly Brown had to bury the baby she's been waiting to meet. She delivered him as a still birth last week just hours after being rear-ended by a woman who police said was extremely intoxicated. Investigators said it wasn't her first time drunk behind the wheel.
"I am still waiting to wake up from my dream, from my nightmare. It's what it is; she took one of my babies," said Beverly Brown.
Brown said her world changed when 34-year-old Mary Jean Frances got behind the wheel intoxicated, without a license, and headed towards the Fred's pharmacy drive thru in Lafayette.
First, police said Frances drove into a pole. She never stopped, and continued into the back of Brown's jeep, which was sitting in park. About 15 minutes later, Brown felt her baby kick but she never thought it would be the last time.
"They said they could hear a faint heart beat but it was mine," she recalled after she was rushed to the hospital Wednesday night.
Twenty four hours later Brown held her son for the first time without hearing him cry or looking into his eyes. He was born as a stillbirth.
"I just told him how much I loved him, and how sorry I was that this happened to him," she said.
But Jacob's father, Ryan Jones, said the only person who should be sorry is Frances.
The accident marks her third DUI charge and sixth time driving with a revoked license.
"I think she should very much be accountable for it," said Jones.
"We are treating this as a vehicle homicide, but we don't want to make any speculations until we get the preliminary results back," said Chief Ray Amalfitano.
Lafayette police are waiting for the autopsy report before they proceed with any vehicular homicide charges.
In the meantime, Brown is cherishing the months of memories she had before the crash.
"He would put his foot right above my belly button and press up and I would tickle his foot and he would start kicking me and stuff," she recalled.
And the mere moments she shared with Jacob after it.
"I just wanted to hear him cry," she said.
Only the final autopsy report will determine if Jacob's death was because of the accident or because of some unknown health problem. But just six days before this happened, the parents went to a doctor's appointment and their doctor said the baby looked perfectly healthy and that even if he was born early, he'd survive.
Frances is behind bars in Smith county for a probation violation.
The autopsy report should be ready in a few weeks.