Article Comment 

Bike store owner's condition improves as cyclists plan Saturday awareness ride


Jason Browne



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.




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Reader Comments

Article Comment uncbigdawg commented at 6/22/2011 3:00:00 PM:

Something stinks in Clay County why this Norton has not been charged, especially with an eye witness. I think it is time to call in the Attorney General or the U.S. Attorney's office immediately. This so appears of a big cover up.


Article Comment starkvillecyclist commented at 6/23/2011 5:07:00 AM:

Actually, there's no cover-up at all. The DA would like to do more, but the law limits him. In MS, under our 3-foot law, breaking this law is considered a misdemeanor, and the harshest punishment the defendant can receive is a $1000 fine and/or a year in jail, unless the DA has evidence that she intentionally tried to kill Jan; there is no such evidence. It is the law that needs to change.


Article Comment msuangel80 commented at 6/23/2011 9:35:00 AM:

I would think getting back into your car(leaving the scene of an accident) and running over the person again would be more than just violating the 3-foot law.


Article Comment bna102478 commented at 6/23/2011 12:08:00 PM:

That should be 5 people like the msuangel80 post and 1 dislike. I clicked the wrong one.


Article Comment interested in starkville commented at 6/24/2011 12:06:00 PM:

We all read the accident report from MHP, which stated Robbie Norton exited her vehicle while on her cell phone, re-entered her vehicle, ran over Jan Morgan AGAIN,and tried to leave the scene. Norton was pulled out of her vehicle and detained by witnesses. The DA has interpreted the FACTS to make Norton the victim. We need to let this DA know how we feel about his decision not to file felony charges against Robbie Norton. The most powerful voice you have is at the ballot box.


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