Two Franklin teenagers remain in critical condition less than one week after the pickup truck they were riding in Sept. 5 spun off the road and struck a tree in the town of Franklin.
The driver, 17-year-old Dylan Dewey, sustained blunt force trauma to the head, and 14-year-old Tyler Holcomb, who was riding in the passenger seat, had to be extricated from the vehicle and suffered fractures in his cheekbones, skull, pelvis and both legs, according to Shanna Martin, family friend and owner of TLC Family Thrift Shop in Walton.
Both were airlifted to Albany Medical Center, where they remain in the adult and pediatric intensive care units, respectively, she said.
Martin said she has been in regular contact with both families, both of which are “so grateful for everyone’s thoughts and prayers.”
Dylan underwent his first surgery Sunday, Martin said, and Tyler, who is recovering from his third surgery, opened his eyes for the first time Monday. Bleeds in his brain and stomach are under control, she said, but Tyler still faces several more surgeries as he recovers.
Martin is collecting donations for the families at the thrift store and donating 50% of sales Wednesday through Saturday. Several local businesses have donated items and gift certificates, which the store will raffle off in a 5 p.m. drawing Saturday.
“We want to put money into the pockets of the parents so they can stay at the hospital with their kids,” she said, noting that their expenses amount to more than $100 a day.
“The worst thing a parent can face is ‘do we lose our home because we can’t pay rent, or leave our kids alone in the hospital so we can work?’” Martin continued. “It’s so touch-and-go. That’s a horrible thing for them to have to decide.”
Martin said the fundraiser was the idea of her 14-year-old son, Nathaniel, who is best friends with Tyler, the younger of the two crash victims.
“It was his idea and I just wanted to help him make it a reality,” she said. “We talked about how we could help Tyler and we decided the best way we could is to help his family.”
A benefit is scheduled Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Walton Grange Hall, and will include bingo games with prizes, a 50-50 raffle and bake sale, Martin said.
Updates on the fundraiser and the boys’ progress will be posted on the TLC Family Thrift Shop’s Facebook page, Martin said.
“Anything we can do to help these kids is great,” she said.
Donations may be made online for Dylan’s family at facebook.com/donate/2337172503189701/ and for Tyler’s family at facebook.com/donate/1211578632357822/ or in person at the TLC Family Thrift Shop, 156 Delaware St., Walton.
For more information, contact Shanna Martin at 607-226-4357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at email@example.com or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.