Star teen volleyball player loses legs in crash caused by unlicensed driver in St. Louis

Star teen volleyball player loses legs in crash caused by unlicensed driver in St. Louis

By Katherine Donlevy

A star Tennessee high school volleyball player lost both her legs after a horrific crash caused by an unlicensed driver who ran through a yield sign over the weekend, her team said.

Janae Edmondson, 16, was walking to her hotel Saturday around 9 p.m. after finishing the first day of her volleyball tournament in St. Louis, Missouri when the driver barreled toward her and her parents.

“A driver drove through a yield sign and struck a car. That car struck Janae,” her team, Mid TN Volleyball Club, said on Facebook.

Janae was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries.

Doctors were forced to amputate both of the young athlete’s legs, Mid TN Volleyball Club’s Assistant Director Jeff Wismer told KMOV.

“She has lost both limbs below her waist, so for us, how do you find words to explain our sorrow? We really can’t,” Jeff Wismer said.

“The road in front of Janae is tough. There’s going to be a lot of challenges ahead, financial challenges, emotional challenges that we’re hoping that the 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.”

Video shared by Citizens for a Greater Downtown St. Louis, a group committed to pedestrian safety, showed a grey Audi blast through a yield sign at an intersection before crashing into another car.

The crash sent the second car airborne, and it reportedly struck Janae as it rolled onto its roof and flew down the street.

Police arrive to the scene.

Police arrive to the scene.

The Audi driver, 21-year-old Daniel Riley, was allegedly driving 45 mph in a 20 mph zone when he failed to obey a yield sign, according to an affidavit obtained by KMOV.

Investigators said he did not have a license, was out on bond for a previous robbery case, and violated an order to wear a GPS monitoring device and be on house arrest, the outlet said. He was charged with several second-degree assault, armed criminal action and several misdemeanors.

According to Wismer, Janae had recently committed to playing volleyball at a Division II university close to home in Tennessee.

Janae Edmondson
Janae was in St. Louis for a volleyball tournament.
MIDTN Volleyball Club

The teenager was also a star basketball player at Smyra High School, located about 25 miles southeast of Nashville.

“I am crying on my keyboard… life doesn’t make sense sometimes,” Jay Umboh, Janae’s former club basketball coach, wrote on Facebook.

“Losing your legs as a young athlete about to play college ball is as Tragic as it can get. But if anyone can overcome this, I know it’s you Janae.”

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