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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 16, 2010

Crash victim’s roadside memorial trashed

By Anne Hayden

KNOX — Two years ago, Ryan Slingerland, at age 16, was killed in a car accident. Earlier this week, the memorial that stands in his honor on Street Road was vandalized.

The memorial, a wooden cross and a box containing mementos, is located at the spot where Slingerland died, said his mother, Lindy Slingerland. Her son’s friends still visit the site often, she said, and continue to leave items there that pay tribute to Ryan in some way.

Slingerland was 16 and a sophomore at Berne-Knox-Westerlo high school when he died, after the car his friend was driving — Slingerland was a passenger in the back seat — crashed into a tree. The car was driven by Edmund Moore, who was sentenced to six months in Albany County’s jail for negligently criminal homicide.

Lindy Slingerland said her niece received a phone call on Sunday night, saying that someone should go and clean Ryan’s memorial site.

“Everything was taken out of the box and strewn around,” Slingerland said. She said someone had been sitting up at the site on Saturday night and nothing had been out of place, so the damage must have occurred some time on Sunday.

The glass on the box was broken, and the items in it — two of Ryan’s favorite hats, two basketballs, cans of Ryan’s favorite energy drink, and pictures — were strewn down the hillside.

Slingerland said her youngest daughter, Nicole, who was very close to Ryan, went and helped clean up the memorial site.

“It brought back a lot of memories,” said Slingerland. She said the State Police were contacted, but were unable to do anything at the moment.

“We’re just trying to figure out who did this. We all can’t believe there is such a disrespectful person out there in this world. Ryan didn’t do anything to deserve this,” Slingerland said.

The family plans to restore the memorial.

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