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Baby among two killed in crash

Sunday, February 10, 2013
Johnlee Apping Photo: Kristian De Silva

Relatives and passersby were brought to tears yesterday as police removed the lifeless body of five-month-old Somiah Charles from the wreckage of a black Toyota Corolla car in which she was an occupant.


The PH driver of the car, 24-year-old Johnlee Apping, also died after the steering wheel broke several of his ribs, rupturing his internal organs.


Somiah, who fell out of her mother Josanne Charles’ arms when the car crashed into a Mazda 323, drowned after it plunged into a drain filled with murky water. 


Charles, a 26-year-old mother of three, of M’Estelle Road, Palo Seco, suffered two broken arms, a torn ligament on the right foot and a gash on the left calf. She was up to late yesterday, warded in serious condition at the San Fernando General Hospital.


Police said that around 1.30 am, Apping of Coora Road, Siparia, had picked up Charles, her child and two other passengers along the SS Erin Road, en route to Palo Seco. The two unidentified commuters exited the vehicle in Santa Flora and as Apping drove near the Palo Seco Credit Union, he swerved to avoid a pot hole and collided with the car driven by Trevor Murraine.


Apping died immediately while Murraine suffered injuries to his hip.


At the Santa Flora Police Station yesterday, Charles’ mother, Merlyn Charles, said her daughter had taken the children to a kid’s show in Siparia. 


She said around 5 pm, Charles returned home with her older children and left Somiah in the care of a relative.


Merlyn said Charles went back for Somiah so they could visit her father.


However, she said when Charles’ boyfriend called to inquire whether they had reached home, she became worried. 


She said it was not until 1 am that a friend called and she was informed of the tragedy.


Apping’s father Keith Apping was yet to get full details about his son’s death and said all he knew was that his son left home on Friday afternoon to lime with friends.


Keith said he asked whether his son had been drinking but Apping’s friends told him no. 


He said his son had recently started a new job and was looking forward to begin construction of his own home. 


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