ST. LOUIS – Nearly half a million dollars have been raised for Janae Edmondson, who faces a long road to recovery after a tragedy last weekend in St. Louis.
Edmondson, 17, was visiting St. Louis with her family for a volleyball tournament. While walking around downtown St. Louis, a speeding driver failed to yield and collided with another vehicle. That second vehicle struck Edmondson, and both of her legs have been amputated since the crash.
Edmondson suffered critical injuries, but she was alert and able to interact with her family members in recent days, according to the athletic director for her volleyball team.
FOX 2 recently spoke with representatives from the Middle Tennessee Volleyball Club, which is leading the effort to support Edmondson and set up the “Pray for Janae” GoFundMe account several days ago. Fundraiser organizers are nearly halfway to the goal, hoping to raise $1 million for medical bills and other financial needs.
“We are thankful to report that her condition, though serious, is now stable. We at Mid TN Volleyball Club are asking our community, to pray for Janae, her family, and her teammates. The whole club loves Janae and values her athletic gifts, toughness, determination, and perseverance. These are things she will need in great measure during the long recovery that lies ahead,” said the Middle Tennessee Volleyball Club via the GoFundMe.
Edmondson’s high school, Smyrna High School in Tennessee, also sparked the “Purple Challenge” in her support. Volleyball teams around the Midwest, including St. Louis, are wearing purple, Edmondson’s favorite color, on certain occasions with the teen athlete in their thoughts.
Elsewhere, many around St. Louis, Tennessee and other places have found additional ways to show support for Edmondson. The St. Louis Wheel will roll in purple colors this weekend in honor of Edmondson, and the Missouri Botanical Gardens lit lights purple during Thursday’s Orchid Nights event.
In legal developments, the man accused in the crash, Daniel Riley, entered a not-guilty plea. Riley was out on bond awaiting trial for armed robbery. The situation has caused outrage at the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office as calls mount for Kim Gardner to resign following the situation that unfolded last weekend.