By KEVIN BRADY
A collection fund has been set up for the family of a young Apollo Beach woman who died in a head-on crash on U.S. 301 just days after giving birth to her second child.
Stephanie Camille Drury, 28, died Dec. 17 at around 1 p.m. when her car crossed the a double yellow line and struck a dump truck pulling a trailer, according to a report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Drury died at the scene. Two passengers, her two daughters aged three years and five days old, were treated at Tampa General Hospital and later released. James Artice McCarty, the truck driver, was also treated and released.
Drury, a former manager at Westshore Pizza of Apollo Beach who was taking nursing classes at Southern Technical College, documented her pregnancy and the birth of her second children extensively on her Facebook page with photos.
“Guess what, everyone, we have another perfect baby girl,” wrote Drury, an East Bay High School graduate, alongside pictures of her newborn Dec. 13. “Sleeps all night long, well except when she’s hungry and the she doesn’t really even cry she just whispers a little. Thank you Lord.
“Just a reminder, there is a line if it’s crossed, very hard to get over,” was Drury’s last message on the page, just two days before the crash.
Lamb of God Lutheran Church, 10540 Browning Rd., Lithia, is collecting children’s clothes and food for the Drury children.
The donation drive started as a grassroots effort on Facebook with members of the public asking how they could help the family in the wake of the tragedy. Kelly Grisham, a friend of family, suggested some items that could be donated.
“This is such a tragedy for this family and we would like to support them in any way we can,” said Lamb of God Pastor Mark Wood, whose wife Mary Ellen suggested the church as a drop-off point for donations. “I don’t know the family but we want to show them the care and compassion they need.”
Wood hopes the donations, many from people who don’t know the family, will help ease their grief in a small way.
“We had a crash the day before outside the church where a young man had to be taken to the hospital by helicopter. He survived but then you hear about something like this and your heart just sinks. How do you cope and go on?
“But we do go on and we hope that this makes it a little easier for the families knowing that there is a community out there that shares their grief and is reaching out to help at this time. They are not alone.”
Among the items needed are diapers of any size or brand, Gerber Gentle Formula and clothes for an infant and a toddler aged three to four years old.
“Anything would greatly help this family in their time of need,” said the church in a statement announcing the collection drive.
“So very heartbreaking,” said Brandylyn Landers, who was among those who offered to help the family. “I sincerely cannot stop thinking about it. Not only sad for those innocent children but for that poor man driving the dump truck. It’s another reminder of how precious life is.”
“I can’t even fathom this,” said Tanya Beerbohm. “Many prayers going out to the family.”
Anyone dropping off donations is asked to specify the items are for the Drury family.
Donations can be dropped off from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information about dropping off donations, call 813-653-2354.