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Family mourns 16 month-old killed in car accident last week

The family of a 16-month-old girl, struck and killed last week at a private residence on Oyster Road, will lay her to rest Tuesday.

The public visitation for Ember Lou Etheridge, daughter of Talon Vaughn Etheridge and Keri Elaine Golden, will begin at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at First Baptist Church in  Apalachicola. A graveside service at noon at Magnolia Cemetery will follow.

“She was a beautiful girl,” said her mom. “I’m doing the best I can. I have to be here for my other two babies, that’s just how I have to look at it. If it wasn’t for the other two babies, I wouldn’t be here at all.”

Sheriff’s deputies, Apalachicola police officers, first responders and an ambulance from Weems Memorial Hospital all were dispatched at about 1:45 p.m. to 545 Oyster Road, which is near the intersection of Brownsville Road.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 42-year-old woman was backing a  pickup truck out of the private residence when she failed to notice the child in the path of the right front wheel. The child was struck by the wheel, and pronounced dead at the scene.

Golden said her mother had driven over to the house and was leaving to go shopping for the family, since Golden’s car was in the midst of getting fixed.

“She got into the truck to go move it,” said Golden.

At that moment, Golden’s son Owen, 3, ran out the door to chase after his grandmother. Both he, brother Austin, 5, and sister Ember were all inside the house at the time, as was a nephew, Aidan, 4.

“I closed the door behind me, but you can bump it and it opens up,” said Golden.

She chased after her son to grab him from climbing on the truck, and sat him on the ground, she said.

It was then Owen and mom saw to their horror that Ember had been hit.

“I started grabbing the car to get it off of her and I grabbed her and she passed away,” said Golden. “We never knew she was outside. I was just grabbing Owen and bringing him in. She slipped out so fast, she was so fast. She never made a noise.”

There has been an account set up at Centennial Bank in the name of Ember Lou Etheridge for those who wish to contribute to her services and burial.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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