UPDATED: Smyrna, TN –The Smyrna High School Senior who was hit by a car while visiting St. Louis for a volleyball tournament, continues to recover from the injuries she sustained on February 18, 2023. The injuries that Janae Edmondson received were so severe that doctors had to amputate both legs.
Prior to Edmondson being hit by a vehicle, she was given the verbal greenlight for an athletic scholarship at UT Southern. On Friday, WGNS spoke to the Director of Athletics for UT Southern and Brandie Paul confirmed that Edmondson will in fact still receive that scholarship. The director said, “We are honoring that scholarship – she will be a part of the volleyball team – although, we don’t know what that will look like, we are honoring the scholarship.”
In St. Louis, the suspect who reportedly ran the small SUV into a parked car, hitting Edmondson in the process, remains behind bars at the St. Louis City Justice Center. 21-year-old Daniel Riley is facing one felony count of 2nd Degree Assault, one felony count of Armed Criminal Action, two misdemeanor counts of 4th Degree Assault and one misdemeanor count of Operating a Vehicle on a Highway Without a Valid License. Riley was arrested by the St. Louis Metro Police Department, who are over the investigation.
A detention hearing was held this past Tuesday and Riley was ordered to be held without bond, pending trial. However, another detention hearing has been scheduled to take place on Monday, February 27th
Edmondson was struck by the SUV while walking back to her hotel with her parents. The suspect was allegedly driving 20-miles-per-hour over the speed limit when the crash occurred.
Multiple High Schools in Tennessee and in St. Louis are taking part in what has been labeled the “Purple Challenge.” That could include wearing a purple ribbon, a splash of purple on team shirts, etc. As many realize, purple is one of the main colors that represents the Smyrna Bulldogs where Edmondson played both basketball and volleyball.
There are also several hashtags that are gaining momentum that include #playfornay and #prayfornae, which is short for Janae. Rival schools are even using the hashtags in posts on social media.
About a day or so after the tragic accident, The Mid TN Volleyball Club set-up the "Pray for Janae" GofundMe account. Edmondson was in St. Louis to play volleyball for the local volleyball club. As of Friday afternoon at 1:45, that GoFundMe has raised over $475-thousand. The GoFundMe account: https://gofund.me/98b9a2e4