Teen in St. Louis for volleyball tournament hit by car, has both legs amputated; suspect arrested

Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 12:58 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – A teenage girl from Tennessee who was in downtown St. Louis for a volleyball tournament was hit by a car Saturday night, resulting in both her legs having to be amputated.

Janae Edmondson was critically injured when she was hit by the car at 11th and St. Charles around 8:40 p.m. According to St. Louis police, the car ran a yield sign at the intersection and hit another car. That car went airborne and hit Edmondson, pinning her between it and a parked car.

Edmondson’s family told News 4 on Wednesday that she is still in stable but critical condition and had another surgery today.

Citizens for a Safer Downtown St. Louis shared video from the night of the crash. It shows a Gray Audi Q5 driving westbound through the intersection on St. Charles Street. The 21-year-old driver of the car failed to yield at a sign at the intersection. A second car, a Chevy Malibu, driving northbound on 11th Street, was hit by the Audi while crossing the intersection.

The 21-year-old driver of the Audi and a passenger in the Chevy were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the Audi, identified by police as Daniel Riley, was later arrested for three counts of assault, armed criminal action, and operating a vehicle without a valid license.

A probable cause statement against Riley states he is currently on bond for other pending charges of robbery and armed criminal action for a robbery that happened in the 4100 block of Finney Ave in St. Louis City in August 2020. He got a personal recognizance bond on August 10, 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 on February 13, just five days before the crash.

Riley did not have a valid driver’s license when the incident happened. Police allege he was driving 45 mph, 20 above the speed limit, when the crash happened.

Police allege Daniel Riley struck a vehicle going 20 mph over the speed limit, causing that...
Police allege Daniel Riley struck a vehicle going 20 mph over the speed limit, causing that vehicle to go airborne and to hit a teenager.(SLMPD)

In response to this incident, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said in a statement:

“This weekend,16 year-old Janae Edmondson’s life was upended by horrific traffic violence as she visited our city for a volleyball tournament at America’s Center Downtown. Violence is always devastating, but it’s especially devastating when it touches the lives of our youth. My heart goes out to Janae and her loved ones.

“Visitors and residents alike should be able to feel safe in our city and our downtown. My office has connected with the Circuit Attorney’s Office and judicial partners to review the processes that led up to this preventable tragedy. Our city can and must do a better job of working together to hold those who endanger our communities accountable.

“Traffic violence is an issue that impacts our entire city. While we’re still gathering the facts of this case, I remain committed to major investments in street and pedestrian infrastructure to keep our city safe no matter how they choose to get around - walking, biking, driving, or using public transit - as we also explore enforcement solutions.”

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

Wismer is the Assistant Director at Middle Tennessee volleyball club (Mid TN VBC). Edmondson played for their 18 Blue team, and she was walking back to her hotel with her family that night when she was struck.

“We have frustration, we have anger [over any responsible act],” said Wismer. “A missed sign, or whatever was a causation of this.”

Wismer describes Edmondson as a teen with so much promise ahead of her. Now, she faces a long road to recovery.

“A wonderful kid with a great smile, a three-sport athlete in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, who just committed to play college volleyball next year,” said Wismer. “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.”

The rest of the volleyball community who took part in this weekend’s President’s Day Classic Tournament at the America’s Center is also reeling from the news.

“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, but again we have a great volleyball community here and everybody is banding together and really supporting Middle Tennessee,” said Scott McQueen.

McQueen is the owner of Capitol Sports Center, hosts of the tournament this weekend.

“Any time you’re in a big city, we try to make sure that [the] kids aren’t walking by themselves. This doesn’t sound like anything that couldn’t have been prevented on their side,” said McQueen. “It’s a tragedy and we always have to be a little more careful in big cities.”

A GoFundMe account created to help the Edmondson family with medical expenses has been created. More than $25,000 has already been raised.

News 4 will continue to monitor this story and the ongoing investigation into this incident.