Niko DiNovo, the Colonie teen who was in a fiery crash 508 days ago, has died.
DiNovo literally fought for his life after suffering third degree burns over 95 percent of his body.
The entire community rallied behind he and his family and the slogan #nikostrong was a common sight on bumper stickers, t-shirts and stickers.
His family was by his side at the Westchester Hospital Burn Unit for the entire 508 days and his more than two dozen surgeries. According to social media posts, they were with him when he died at shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday, March 19, according to a Facebook post by his aunt.
His friend who was driving the car on Oct. 28, 2016, when it crashed into a parked vehicle outside of Blessing’s Tavern, 19-year-old Michael Carr, was sentenced to six years in prison earlier this year.
The impact of the crash pushed the other vehicle into the bar on Consaul Road and caught fire. An employee and a patron were taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital. The bar was destroyed.
Carr admitted to drinking rum and coke and smoking marijuana the day of the accident.
The two were friends, and Carr broke down in tears at his sentencing when he saw a photo of DiNovo. Part of his plea deal, determined while DiNovo was still alive, dictates that he will not face stricter punishment if circumstances changed.
The South Colonie Central School district and the community at large galvanized, and dozens of fundraisers were held to help the DiNovo family. DiNovo’s classmates named him prom king in a symbolic gesture.
Michael DiNovo, called his younger brother one of the strongest people he ever met during a flag football tournament/fundraiser that drew hundreds of players. During Carr’s sentencing, Michael DiNovo said he thought his brother would pull through, but the family’s posts on Facebook indicated he had had a difficult couple of months, and struggled to get back to even after his last surgeries.