Accident occurred on Route 3

PHOTO PROVIDEDDr. Dexter Criss poses with (from left): his mother, Bobbie; wife, Barbara; son, Dalton; and daughter Danielle at Dalton’s graduation at Peru Central School in June. Dalton and Barbara were in a car accident Monday afternoon, and he died Tuesday. Barbara is in stable-critical condition at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

PLATTSBURGH — Dalton R. Criss, who died after a one-car accident in Saranac Monday, will be remembered at “The Celebration of Dalton’s Life,” a memorial, next Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Peru High School gymnasium.

“The family is thankful and blessed by the community’s love and outpouring of prayers and support,” Andrea Ogle, Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir director, said.

“It is so appreciated during this difficult time.”

The accident Monday evening that ultimately claimed the life of the 18-year-old Criss occurred on Route 3 in the Town of Saranac.

According to State Police, around 5:17 p.m., Criss, of Morrisonville, was driving a 2007 Jeep, heading east on Route 3, when for an unknown reason, the vehicle exited the north shoulder of the roadway, hit a utility pole and then a residence at 4974 Route 3.

Dalton Criss and the front seat passenger, his mother, Barbara S. Criss, 55, also of Morrisonville, were extricated from the vehicle by Saranac Fire Department and transported to the University of Vermont Healthcare Network at the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh by Saranac EMS.

Both were later flown to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vt. for head and neck injuries.

Dalton R. Criss was pronounced deceased at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Barbara S. Criss was in stable-critical condition and was responding positively to treatment, according to her family on Wednesday.

No one was home in the residence that was struck at the time of the crash, police said.

Dalton Criss was a standout athlete at Peru High School, participating in football and wrestling.

He was Section VII champion in the 285-pound division in 2018 and 2019, helping the Indians win the championship in 2019.

He was also a captain on the football team his senior year.

Dalton Criss graduated from Peru this past June and was set to begin classes next week at SUNY Plattsburgh.

His father, Dr. Dexter L. Criss, is a chemistry professor at the college, and artistic director of the Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir.

Dexter Criss, his daughter, Danielle, and mother, Bobbie, were not alone at the University of Vermont Medical Center since the accident, which claimed his son’s life.

“I didn’t know who everybody was but I would say there were a couple of dozen people — from his Peru wrestling and football (teams), or his classmates, and parents and coaches — were all there,” Sally E. Urban, SUNY Plattsburgh Career Development Center senior career counselor and SUNY Plattsburgh Gospel Choir member, said.

The Criss family’s pastor and his wife, the Rev. Leonard A. and L. Elaine Oates of the the Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Glens Falls, were present for the Morrisonville family.

“And also many people from Burlington (Vt.), who he (Dalton) has played with from the Ecumenical Choir from the New Alpha Missionary Baptist Church in Burlington,” Urban said.

“They were all there and pretty much all the community members of the Gospel Choir, and of course his family — Bobbie Criss, Danielle, Lakita Washington, and KJ.”

Plattsburgh area friends came to the Vermont hospital throughout Tuesday.

Urban wasn’t in touch early Wednesday, but she was with the Criss family for an extended time Tuesday.

“There was an outpouring of support from these different groups that were at the hospital,” she said.

“They were definitely surrounded by a lot of love and support.”

Cards and flowers may be sent to: Barbara Criss & The Family at the University of Vermont Medical Center, Surgical Intensive Care, 111 Colchester Ave., McClure Level 3, Burlington, Vt. 05401.


To support the Criss Family Medical-Funeral Expenses:

Staff Writer at Press-Republican since November of 1985. Has covered just about all beats at the paper, including sports.Currently covers government and politics. Graduated from Plattsburgh State in 1985. Originally from Rochester, NY.

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