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Apollo Beach mom dies in head-on crash; two kids survive

Published Dec. 18, 2013

TAMPA — Just five days after giving birth, an Apollo Beach woman was driving Tuesday afternoon with her newborn girl and another young daughter when she strayed across the road and collided head-on with a dump truck, investigators said.

Stephanie Camille Drury, 28, was killed in the crash. The little girls, ages 5 days and 3 years old, were taken to Tampa General Hospital, but suffered no apparent injuries. They were released to family members.

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cristal Bermudez Nunez said it is unusual for investigators to see such a young child involved in a fatal traffic crash.

"That's a first for me," she said.

Investigators said Drury was traveling in Riverview about 1 p.m., going west at about 45 mph on Symmes Road near Ivy Flower Loop when she drove across a double yellow line. It was not clear why, deputies said.

Her 1990 Oldsmobile sedan crashed with a 2005 Freightliner dump truck that was pulling a trailer with a front-end loader aboard. Investigators said the truck was driving about 40 mph.

James Artice McCarty, 42, was driving the truck. He suffered minor injuries, deputies said.

Drury's father, Johnnie Drury, said his daughter was a good-hearted, outgoing person who loved life. And she loved her two children and caring for them.

"She loved her kids," he said. "She loved being a mother."

She had enrolled to take nursing classes at Southern Technical College, he said, and was awaiting the birth of her second child before starting.

"She was a wonderful girl and we're going to miss her," he said.

On her Facebook page, Stephanie Drury had recently posted a series of photos of newborn Emilie Grace and 3-year-old Sara and said she was in a relationship with a Tampa man.

"Guess what everyone," she wrote in a posting Friday. "We have another perfect baby girl. … Thank you lord."

The week before, she posted photos of Sara, along with a smiley face: "My reason to live ... love my Sara."

She wrote on her page that she worked at a pizza shop in Apollo Beach, had attended East Bay High School and originally was from Kentucky.

The road where the crash occurred was closed for hours as the fatality was being investigated and spilled diesel fuel was cleaned up.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writer Jessica Vander Velde contributed to this report.

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