As Jan Morgan transfers to a step-down unit after a month in critical care, her supporters in Starkville are stepping up efforts to increase bicycle safety awareness.
David Morgan, Jan”s husband, confirmed Tuesday that Jan had been taken off of a ventilator and is breathing on her own. He”s working with her doctors to have her moved to a rehab center where she can heal from the extensive injuries suffered in a horrific accident when she was struck by a car May 22 while cycling in Clay County.
In his daily blog post on his wife”s Facebook page, David said Jan is exhibiting motion in her legs and right arm and responds to some stimuli. Despite being sedated, he said she has trouble resting and would likely rest better in a rehab center instead of a hospital unit.
David went on to say he has not heard from the district attorney”s office regarding possible charges against Robbie Norton, the woman who struck Jan and, according to a Mississippi Highway Patrol accident report posted by David to Jan”s Facebook page, Norton got out of her car to check on Jan before re-entering her vehicle and running over her a second time.
In the hopes of educating cyclists, pedestrians and motorists to avoid another accident like the one Jan endured, her supporters are planning a Ban Together for Jan bicycle safety awareness ride Saturday.
Elaine Schimpf, Jan”s personal trainer during her first Ironman competition and a cyclist and spinning instructor, said Tuesday riders and participants will meet at Boardtown Bikes, which is owned by David and Jan, at 7 a.m., for a brief prayer and education session before setting off on a bike ride around Starkville at 7:30 a.m.
The group will cycle west down Lampkin Street past the Farmers” Market to Greensboro Street before turning southwest on Whitfield Street. The pack will turn south on Avenue of Patriots before turning east on Highway 12. The cyclists will make their way several miles down Highway 12 before turning north on Spring Street, then northwest on Russell Street and back to Boardtown Bikes on Lampkin.
Once back at Boardtown Bikes, the group will enjoy donated bananas, water and oatmeal cookies while receiving additional safety information.
“It”s not just for riders, walkers and runners. It”s for motorists, too. An accident like this messes up everyone”s life,” said Schimpf. “I know I”ve paid a lot more attention to things like texting while driving since Jan”s accident. It makes you aware you need to be driving instead of talking on the phone.”
A sign-up sheet will be passed around for participants to sign and include messages to Jan if they choose and the sheet will be included in a scrapbook for Jan. Door prizes will also be awarded and yellow yard sticks promoting Mississippi”s “3-feet law” regarding clearance motorists must provide when passing cyclists will be distributed.
Jason Browne was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.