Family members of 5-year-old Noah Sisk couldn’t hold back tears as the Los Banos Little League held a moment of silence and short program Saturday honoring the T-ball player who was killed last week in a crash.
Noah and his mother, 25-year-old Los Banos resident Destiny Hamlow-Norton, both died Thursday afternoon after their car collided head-on with another vehicle on Highway 59 near McNamara Road.
Hamlow-Norton’s mother, Cynthia Hooker, confirmed Saturday that her daughter and grandson were the two people killed in the collision, even though the identities had yet to be officially confirmed by the Merced County Sheriff’s Office.
Noah’s younger brother, 5 1/2 -month-old Nehemiah, survived the crash with a fractured femur, Hooker said.
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The infant had been released from Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera in time to attend Saturday’s ceremony, where Hooker carried him in her arms. He is expected to fully recover, she said.
The ceremony was held at 11:20 a.m. Saturday at Colorado Park, where Noah’s team, the Blue Jays, was supposed to play a game. All Saturday morning T-ball games were canceled out of respect for Noah.
“It was just so amazing,” Hooker said. “It was a great honor to Noah. And I know he’s looking down, and I know he’s happy.”
All the Little League players, coaches and supporters at the park gathered around Field 3 and formed a diamond around the bases. A T-ball stand and baseball for Noah stood on home plate.
Along with observing a moment of silence, several people from the organization spoke about Noah before inviting players to honor him with a “whip” and “Nae Nae,” dance moves they performed to one of Noah’s favorite songs, “Watch Me” by Silento.
Then, his teammates filled a bottle with dirt near home plate, and other teams paid their respects.
Hooker said she had been with Hamlow-Norton on Thursday, helping her get ready for a friend’s wedding that afternoon in Merced.
“She asked me to do her hair, and she had me pick her outfit,” Hooker said. Noah was in a suit and tie. And Hooker remembered how Noah kept hugging and kissing her, saying, “Bye, Grandma. I love you.”
Hamlow-Norton and her two sons had about 45 minutes to make it to the Merced wedding venue.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Hamlow-Norton was speeding and trying to pass multiple vehicles while traveling northbound on the two-lane Highway 59. As she tried to complete a pass, she apparently saw an oncoming Nissan Murano and attempted to steer her Nissan 200SX onto the shoulder. The oncoming driver did the same and they both collided head-on, according to authorities.
Los Banos police Officer Noah Jones identified the other driver on Saturday as 28-year-old Ashley Moore, also a Los Banos resident.
Hamlow-Norton and Noah were pronounced dead at the scene. Nehemiah and Moore were airlifted to a Fresno hospital. Nehemiah later was transferred to Valley Children’s Hospital.
“I don’t know what happened,” Hooker said. “I don’t know why she was in a rush. I just don’t know.”
Hooker said Hamlow-Norton, a San Jose Oak Grove High School graduate, was loud, boisterous and impatient. But she was a “ray of sunshine” and had an infectious laugh.
Noah loved sports and always wanted to play. He would cheer family and friends at softball, baseball, water polo and football games.
“He had enough energy for every player on this field,” Hooker said. “He just loved playing ball.”
According to a YouCaring.com fundraising page at https://www.youcaring.com/ashley-moore-555853 set up by the Los Banos Tigers Youth Football and Cheer program, Moore suffered a shattered hip and multiple broken bones, for which she is undergoing several surgeries.
A statement on the page reads, “Ashley will have a long road of recovery as well as medical expenses from the surgeries and lengthily (sic) hospital stay.”
As of Sunday afternoon, the fundraising page had raised $530 toward a $10,000 goal.
A YouCaring.com fundraising page also has been set up to pay for funeral expenses and other costs for Hamlow-Norton and Noah at https://www.youcaring.com/cynthia-hooker-555504#. As of Sunday afternoon, $2,920 had been raised toward a $15,000 goal.