LANSDALE — A 57-year-old Harleysville woman and her 13-year-old daughter were killed in a Jan. 29 traffic accident on Interstate 95 in Virginia while traveling to Parris Island, S.C., for the U.S. Marines boot camp graduation of another of the woman's daughters, various news sources said.
Melanie and Brooke Tapper were on their way to the Jan. 31 graduation of Marine Chloe Maples when their sedan, which was stopped in the right lane of Interstate 95, was hit from behind by a tractor-trailer, the Post and Courier, of Charleston, SC, reported.
Another passenger, family friend Sherquenna Fisher, remained hospitalized Feb. 6 with injuries from the accident, the Post and Courier said. The truck driver reportedly received minor injuries.
"I just realized that my mom n sister died on my dads bday.. and my dad died on my birthday. Im not celebrating birthdays ever again," Maples posted on her Facebook page on Feb. 1.
Several comments were left on the Facebook page, including one from Natalie Blumrick, who wrote, "Hi Chloe. Just wanted to reach out and let you know that your Marine Corps family has your back. I'm so sorry for what you have been through, and for the losses you've suffered. If you ever need anything, anything at all, please reach out. We are all here for you, now and always. Semper Fi, sweet girl. Xoxo."
Another, from Allyn West, said, "Hey girl. I know you don’t know a lot of us commenting saying you’re in our thoughts but we are here for you and the Female Marines are here for you as well. If you ever need anything I don’t live far from Souderton and if you need to talk my inbox is always open. It’s a difficult time to go through and we just want you to know that we all are here to support you with anything we can."
A GoFundMe page started by Maples' Marine Corps mentor Christopher Falls, of Hatfield, and headlined "Help a Marine bring her Mother and Sister home," raised almost $30,000 — tripling its $10,000 goal — within a few days.
A Celebration of Life for the Tappers is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 at Sharon Baptist Church, 3955 Conshohocken Avenue, Philadelphia, with a viewing from 8 to 10 a.m.
The arrangements are by Savin Funeral Home of Philadelphia.