ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – The parents of a 17-year-old athlete from Tennessee who lost her legs after being hit by a car in St. Louis pleaded with a judge to keep the suspect behind bars awaiting trial.
The family was traveling to St. Louis from Nashville for a volleyball tournament. The family was walking downtown Saturday when they heard a speeding car.
Police say a car drove past a yield sign and hit a car at an intersection. That car, in turn, crushed Janae Edmondson, a teen athlete who had just been accepted to the University of Tennessee Southern.
On Tuesday, her parents told the court she’s now on a ventilator, and they are struggling with how they will find the words to tell their daughter she has no legs.
Edmondson’s father said in court that his daughter yelled, “Step back, step back!” Then her mother told the judge she watched as one of her daughter’s legs was torn off by the impact.
Edmondson’s father said it took his 11 years of military experience to keep his daughter alive, using the belts of people nearby as a makeshift tourniquet.
The driver accused of going through the yield sign, Daniel Riley, was arrested on charges of second-degree assault. Edmondson’s family asked the judge to keep Riley from getting out on bond.
Some are questioning how Riley was even out of jail in the first place. Prior to this crash, Riley had been arrested in connection with an August 2020 robbery that was set for trial in July 2022. On that trial date, however, the judge noted, “Witnesses and the victim timely appear.” Defense ready. State announces, ‘not ready.’”
A spokesperson for the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office (CAO) said the victim in Riley’s alleged armed robbery case had died, and that’s why prosecutors said they weren’t ready to move ahead with the trial. The spokesperson explained that the CAO then refiled the robbery charges to pursue the case without the victim.
Court records also indicate Riley had violated his GPS monitoring restrictions 51 times, including 10 violations in the last month.
The CAO said it was aware of Riley’s violations, but the decision to keep him out on bond was the judge’s decision.
A statement from the 22nd Circuit Court said judges are not notified of GPS violations, and that only the attorneys of record are notified.
Riley pleaded not guilty to the new charges against him related to the crash. The judge denied him bond, to the relief of the young victim’s parents, who declined to talk on camera due to the trauma they’re facing.