Teen volleyball player loses both legs after getting hit by car
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - A gifted teenage athlete visiting St. Louis for a volleyball tournament was hit by a car, resulting in both her legs having to be amputated. A suspect in the crash has been arrested.
Janae Edmondson was walking back to her St. Louis hotel with her family Saturday night when she was struck and critically injured, according to Jeff Wismer, the assistant director at Middle Tennessee Volleyball Club. Edmondson played for their 18 Blue team and had just committed to playing volleyball in college.
“A wonderful kid with a great smile, a three-sport athlete,” Wismer said. “She has lost both limbs below her waist, so for us, how do you find words to explain our sorrow? We really can’t.”
Edmondson was struck around 8:40 p.m. Saturday. According to St. Louis Police, a gray Audi Q5 ran a yield sign at the intersection and hit a Chevy Malibu. The Malibu went airborne and hit Edmondson, pinning her between it and a parked car.
The teenager suffered critical injuries that resulted in the amputation of both her legs, changing her life forever, KMOV reports.
“We have frustration. We have anger over any responsible act, a missed sign or whatever was a causation of this,” Wismer said.
Wismer describes Edmondson as a teen with so much promise ahead of her. Now, she faces a long road to recovery.
“The road in front of Janae is tough. There’s going to be a lot of challenges ahead, financial challenges, emotional challenges,” Wismer said. “We’re hoping that our community can embrace this family as she goes through this unique time in her life that you can never imagine. This is an unthinkable situation that she has to encounter right now.”
A GoFundMe account has been created to help the Edmondson family with medical expenses. More than $75,000 has already been raised.
Citizens for a Safer Downtown St. Louis shared video from the night of the crash, which allegedly shows the driver of the Audi, identified by police as 21-year-old Daniel Riley, fail to yield and hit the Malibu that was crossing the intersection. Riley and a passenger in the Malibu were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Riley was later arrested for three counts of assault, armed criminal action, and operating a vehicle without a valid license. Police allege he was driving 45 miles per hour, 20 above the speed limit, when the crash happened.
A probable cause statement against Riley states he is currently on bond for other pending charges of robbery and armed criminal action. He got a personal recognizance bond in August 2022 on the conditions of GPS monitoring and house arrest. The statement goes on to say he has received “numerous” GPS violations, the last one filed last Monday, just five days before the crash.
The rest of the volleyball community who took part in the President’s Day Classic Tournament at the America’s Center is reeling from the news about Edmondson.
Scott McQueen, the owner of Capitol Sports Center, which hosted the tournament, called the incident a tragedy.
“I think everybody wants to hug their parents and hug their kids and be a little bit tighter with them because you never know when something like this can happen,” McQueen said. “But again, we have a great volleyball community here, and everybody is banding together and really supporting Middle Tennessee.”
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