GRIEVING MOTHER: Josanne Charles views the body of her five-month-old baby Samayah during the funeral service yesterday at the New Jerusalem Shouter Baptist Church in Los Bajos. —Photo: DAVE PERSAD

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Pink teddy bear for baby Samayah

Crash victim laid to rest

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin

JOSANNE CHARLES was taken down the aisle of the church in a wheelchair yesterday to view the body of her five-month-old baby, Samayah.

It was one week ago that Samayah and her mother were involved in a vehicular accident.

The baby died on the spot along with the driver of the car, John Lee Apping.

Charles sustained injuries to her hands and feet.

She was released from the San Fernando General Hospital last Wednesday to attend the funeral service of her third child.

Charles, who is also the mother of Renisha, four, and Josiah, two, is expected to return to the hospital tomorrow to have an operation on her hand.

With bandages on her limbs, she was taken to the New Jerusalem Shouter Baptist Church at Los Bajos yesterday afternoon.

A short while later the body of her daughter arrived and Charles was pushed in a wheelchair to the four-foot coffin.

She cried as she watched her daughter who was wearing a white dress and a white veil with a pink rose stuck in her hair.

A pink teddy bear was placed by a relative at the child's feet.

During the service Pastor Francis Mendoza said while some may ask why, this was for God to know.

"God know the purpose of how long the child would have been here...This is not a curse but a blessing," he said.

Francis said Samayah had no sin and he encouraged her parents to have joy as their child was now in God's presence.

It was around 2.30 a.m two Saturdays ago that Samayah and her mother were in the back seat of a Toyota Corolla when Apping, 24, swerved to avoid a pothole along the SS Erin Road, Los Bajos.

He crashed head on into a car driven by Trevor Murrain.

Murrain, a teenaged passenger in his car and another person in Apping's vehicle were all taken to hospital.

An autopsy showed that Samayah died from multiple blunt force injuries.

Relative Ayne Fortune yesterday called for drivers to be more mindful of their actions.

"A life has been snatched away... Ladies and gentlemen, tell you friends and neighbours to stop and think about what they are doing. This is the end result of it," she said during the funeral service attended by about 60 people.

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