8-Year-Old Boy Fighting for His Life After Father and Brother, 13, Killed in Crash

·2 min read
Sylas and Elliot Ampersee
Sylas and Elliot Ampersee

GoFundMe

An 8-year-old boy is in critical condition after surviving a car crash that killed his father and older brother this week in Michigan.

Robert Keys, 42, was driving his sons, 8-year-old Elliot and 13-year-old Sylas, on Monday when his 2015 Toyota Corolla crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with another vehicle, according to the WNDU. Roads were wet at the time of the incident, the Herald-Palladium reports.

Both Robert and Sylas were killed, while Elliot survived and was hospitalized after being removed from the vehicle with the Jaws of Life, the outlet reports. The occupants of the other vehicle suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Police told the outlet that all occupants of both vehicles had on seat belts at the time of the crash.

According to a GoFundMe campaign, Elliot was flown from a hospital in St. Joseph to another in Kalamazoo, where he underwent surgery the next day. He was then transferred to a different hospital on Wednesday for another operation.

The GoFundMe page is set up to benefit Elliot's mother, Ashley Ampersee, and has raised over $64,000 as of Friday afternoon.

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"At this point, we are not certain of all the needs Ashley will have as she navigates the road ahead but we do know she needs support," GoFundMe organizers wrote. "This account is intended to help Ashley financially but it is also a tangible way for her to see the love and support of her community during a time when it would be easy to feel lost, afraid and alone."

"We ask for your help in loving Ashley, Elliot and their family in a generous way," their message continued.

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Pastor Crystal Colp told WNDU that Ampersee, a member of First Church, is trying to remain strong for her son while also coping with the trauma of the accident.

"Right now," Colp said, "she has to hold in tandem that grief and the loss that she's experienced along with the strength she needs to support Elliot in this journey he is on to heal."

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On Thursday, Ampersee thanked GoFundMe donors for their help.

"I am overwhelmed by all the love and support," she wrote in an update on the page. "I wish I could thank every one of you personally. I feel so cared for and would like to ask for continued prayers for my sweet Elliot."

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