Family remembers local police recruit killed in crash


"She always had a deep sense of just wanting to help people," says sister Kourtney

HILTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Tuesday evening News 8 brought you the story of Trystan Sylvester, the young woman who tragically died over the weekend, when police say a drunk driver struck her motorcycle. We spoke with her mentor, who was helping her fulfill her goal of joining law enforcement. Wednesday, News 8 went out to Hilton to speak with the family dealing with this tremendous loss.

Kourtney Zelazny remembers her sister Trystan as a young woman, incredibly loyal to her family, and to her pursuit of working in law enforcement. 

“It’s hard to call her a woman because she was just a girl. But she loved very deeply,” says Kourtney. “She was an incredible sister…an amazing aunt.”

Trystan was just 23-years-old, her motorcycle was struck by a drunk driver on Saturday. Trystan died in the crash, her family still trying to process the loss, who gave so much to her family, friends, and community. Trystan’s mission was to be a guardian, a police officer, to protect the public. She was just two weeks shy of making that dream a reality. 

“She always had a deep sense of just wanting to help people,” says Kourtney.

“Being a police officer was something she really wanted to do and was something that everyone knew,” says James Custer, he and Trystan knew each other for many years. He says Trystan deciding to wear the badge was not easy for loved ones.

“Tell her that you know…go for your dreams. But at the same time we’re all scared,” says Custer.

Custer says for everyone on the roadways, please look out for motorcycles and please, don’t drink and drive. “People’s lives are at stake, you know? A lot of people got hurt and devastated,” he says.

Kourtney says what she’ll miss most about Trystan is the future. Plans they had to refurbish homes together and raise their families side-by-side. Kourtney, a woman of faith, says that while Trystan might be gone from this Earth, her spirit will certainly live on. 

“I think she’s going to do everything she would have done here, but she’s going to do it from a higher place,” says Kourtney.

The family has a GoFundMe posted to help with Trystan’s funeral expenses. You can learn more by clicking here.

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