Do not drink and drive
By STACY MOORE Sunday, February 17 2013
ACCIDENT victim Josanne Charles was brought to the funeral service of her five-month-old baby girl in a wheelchair. With her body bandaged in several places, the young mother survived the vehicular accident that claimed the life of her infant daughter, Samayah, last Saturday morning in Palo Seco.
Shortly before the tiny coffin bearing the body of her daughter arrived at the New Jerusalem Spiritual Baptist Church at Number 9, Los Bajos, Palo Seco, Charles, with the assistance of relatives, was lifted from the front seat of a vehicle and placed into a wheelchair and pushed into the church premises. Charles, who was temporarily discharged from the San Fernando General Hospital to attend her daughter’s funeral service, did not say a word as tears began streaming from her eyes minutes after she first saw the body of her daughter. Baby Samayah was killed when a car, a PH taxi, in which she was a passenger in her mother’s arms crashed into another car on the SS Erin Road in Palo Seco.
Relatives yesterday blamed the Samayah’s death on the “drunkness and foolishness” of the driver. Speaking at the funeral service yesterday evening, Samayah’s grand-aunt Ayln Fortune, said her grand-niece could have been alive today.
“This is my grand-niece here lying in that coffin and to know that her life was snatched away from her because of somebody’s drunkness and carelessness is a painful thing. No one knows the pain that I feel,” said an emotional Fortune.
The distraught woman said she was only now coping with the death of another loved one when she got the tragic news of baby Samayah’s death.
“My grand-niece lying there in that coffin, she could have been the next prime minister, a teacher. But now she is gone because of someone’s carelessness and foolishness,” Fortune said. Noting that baby Samayah did not even live to see a year, she said:
“My only comfort is she has no sin. She is innocent so we know where she going.”
The emotional woman pleaded with drivers to refrain from driving after consuming alcohol.
“I begging everybody please if you think you are too drunk, don’t drive. Please,” she said.
“I pray this will draw our family closer together and I pray for the strength to help us get through this pain,”she added..
Pointing at the coffin, Fortune stressed:
“Tell your friend and tell your neighbours, stop drinking and driving. This is what you are doing, this is the end result. Please think of what you are doing.”
In the small gathering at the church, mourners wept silently.
According to police reports, baby Samayah was in her mother’s arms inside a Toyota Corolla driven by John Lee Aping when the car collided with a silver Mazda 323 that was heading in the opposite direction.
Aping, 25, a mechanic of Coora Road Siparia, died on the spot along with baby Samayah who investigators believed was thrown into an open drain upon the impact of the vehicles. Charles suffered two broken arms and other minor injuries. Two other occupants of the silver Mazda 323 had to be hospitalised. An autopsy performed on Samayah at the Forensic Science Centre listed the cause of death due to multiple blunt force injuries.
Bishop Francis Mendoza who officiated at the service yesterday said questions would rise as to why Samayah died, but he said God had a reason.
“I found this as a blessing. This child has no sin so her record is clean. If God wants this baby for his purpose, we cannot say no,” Mendoza said. He told mourners that when the infant was conceived, God knew how long she would have lived for. He said her (Samayah) death was not a curse but a blessing. Pink roses and a pink stuffed teddy bear were placed in the coffin as Samayah, in a lily white dress was laid to rest at the Los Bajos cemetery.