ST. LOUIS – The parents of a 17-year-old athlete who lost her legs as the result of a St. Louis driver this weekend pleaded with a judge in the case that has changed their lives forever.

The family was traveling here from Nashville, Tennessee, for a volleyball tournament. On Tuesday, they told the court about their daughter, Janae Edmondson, a promising athlete who had just been accepted to the University of Tennessee Southern. They said 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.

The family was walking downtown on St. Charles Street around 8:40 p.m. Saturday, when they heard a speeding car.

Police claim a car drove past a yield sign and hit a car at an intersection. That car, in turn, crushed Edmondson.

Edmondson’s father shared that she yelled at him, “Step back, step back!” Her mother told the judge she watched as one of her daughter’s legs was torn off as a result.

Edmondson’s father explained that it took all of his 11 years of military experience, including tours in Turkey and the Middle East, 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. However, some are questioning why Riley was even out of jail.

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.’”

Court records also indicate Riley violated his GPS monitoring 51 times, including 10 violations in the last month. And yet, Riley remained free.

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office responded Tuesday afternoon, saying it was aware of Riley’s violations, but the decision to keep him out on bond was the judge’s decision. A spokesperson added that the victim in Riley’s armed robbery case died, but the judge planned to move ahead with the trial in July 2022, and that’s why prosecutors said they weren’t ready. The spokesperson explained that the CAO then refiled the robbery charges to pursue the case without the victim.

In response to the Circuit Attorney’s Office accusation that it was the judge’s decision to keep Riley out on bond, a statement from the 22nd Circuit Court says judges are not notified of GPS violations, that only the attorneys of record are notified.

Riley pleaded not guilty to the new charges against him related to the reckless driving crash. The judge denied him bond, to the relief of the young victim’s parents, who declined to talk on camera for now due to the tremendous trauma they’re facing.