2-year-old survivor of fatal Amsterdam crash continues to improve
AMSTERDAM Two-year-old Naomi Sleight continues to recover at Albany Medical Center from injuries she sustained in the head-on collision that took the lives of her mother and brother.
Following the accident Sunday evening, Naomi and her 9-year-old brother Elijah were airlifted to Albany Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Elijah died the next day but Naomi has been steadily improving.
Albany Medical Center staff said Thursday that Naomi was in fair condition. They could not release any specifics, but said she was in critical condition when she arrived, improved to serious condition Tuesday and has healed further.
The crash occurred at around 6 p.m. Sunday night along Route 67 in Amsterdam. Tanya Sleight, 33, of Amsterdam and her friend Shyara Concepcion, 39, were driving west with Sleight’s three children — Naomi, Elijah, and Matthew, 7 — in the back seat.
Just west of Bill’s Auto Parts, an eastbound van driven by David Bain, 68, of Amsterdam crossed the double yellow line, colliding head-on with Sleight’s vehicle.
Sleight and Concepcion were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Matthew and Bain were taken to St. Mary’s with minor injuries.
The incident has been under investigation ever since. So far, Bain has not been charged.
“He won’t be charged until the blood alcohol tests come back from the state police,” said Investigator Joe Kilmartin of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department. “That will be in about three weeks.”
Investigators are still working to figure out what caused Bain to cross the center lines, but Kilmartin said Thursday it was not excessive speed.
“I can’t comment on the exact speed of the van,” he said, “but I can say Bain was not going over the speed limit.”
With assistance from the state police, the Sheriff’s Department was able to recover the van’s onboard computer, which logged Bain’s speed right before the crash.
While the investigation moves forward, the Sleight family had to make funeral arraignments. Armer Funeral Home in Ballston Spa will be handling the memorial services of Tanya and Elijah Sleight.
Obituaries listed on the home’s website describe Elijah as a caring older brother who “could often be found climbing a tree” and his mother as a friendly and outgoing woman.
Funeral services for both will be held 10 a.m. Monday at Christ Episcopal Church, West High Street, Ballston Spa.
An obituary published on the Saratogian newspaper’s website indicated a funeral was held for Concepcion on Thursday in Puerto Rico.
There are several ways to donate to the family. Money can be directed to Christopher Sleight, father of the children, through Citizens Bank. Checks should be made out to The Christopher Sleight Benefit fund and sent by mail to the Providence, R.I.-based bank.
Money also can be donated directly toward the funeral costs of the crash victims through the “Tanya & Elijah Sleight and Shyara Concepcion memorial fund” set up at Adirondack Trust or through the Albany Medical Center Pediatrics Unit.