Candlelight vigil honors teen as police release new details about fatal Green Island crash

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GREEN ISLAND, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The community of Green Island is grieving the loss of 17-year-old Brandon Sylvester—and praying for three other teens who were with him as they were struck by a vehicle as they were crossing Interstate 787 Saturday night. Meanwhile, we’re learning more details about what happened that night.

“They’ve got a lot of healing to do. I mean a lot of healing. One young man is in critical condition and the other two are banged up pretty bad. So on top of healing their injuries they have a lot of grieving to go through because it’s something horrific for a small community.”

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple

According to Sheriff Apple, a driver hit the four teens as they crossed the street coming back from getting Slushies and coffee. He says the driver had a green light, but had a suspended license and was not the owner of the car.

The sheriff describes the incident as a combination of unfortunate mistakes:

“Everything from crossing the street against traffic, to not supposed to be driving the car.”

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple

The sheriff said at least one of the charges on the driver’s record was alcohol-related. Authorities took a blood sample from the driver and await toxicology test results. Apple says results could take weeks.

There’s a small memorial set up at Heatly, and another one at the intersection where the accident happened.

The vigil is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Heatly School gym. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. for students, staff, and community members. A GoFundMe page set up for the families affected by the crash has already raised close to $4,000.

A woman whose daughters are classmates of the teens in the crash says a prayer vigil is just what the Heatly and Green Island communities need.

“Prayers are needed for all the families and teens including the two who weren’t hit. They all have a long road ahead. We may be a small community but we are a strong one. We are a big family that takes care of each other, [through] good times and rough times. We stay strong for each other,” Mary Wilmot told News10.

Classes were canceled Monday but resume Tuesday.

Counselors will be available for students and staff. Students will also have the opportunity throughout the day to make cards for the families affected.

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