By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
It has been nearly a month since an accident left a local business woman in critical condition, and still no charges have been filed against the driver.
Jan Morgan, 57, of Starkville, was hit by a car while riding her bicycle out on Highway 50 near Pheba on May 22. According to the accident report published by Morgan’s husband, David, she was hit from behind.
The impact threw her into the air and she landed on the hood of the car. The driver, Robbie Norton of Cedarbluff, continued for a few feet before stopping when Morgan was thrown to ground. Norton exited her vehicle and “observed the cyclist while talking on the phone,” before getting back into her car and running over Morgan again. The report goes on to state Norton was forced from her car by witnesses.
David Morgan was told a crash investigator and Clay County Prosecutor Angela Turner-Lairy are looking into the case. Turner-Lairy could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.
“I hope it is taking as long as it is so that it is done correctly, but I do not have an answer for that,” David said. “I would like to know the reason as much, if not more than anyone.”
Jan Morgan remains in critical condition at a hospital in Tupelo. Doctors are slowly taking her off of sedatives, but it might take a while for her to wake up. She is now breathing predominately on her own, but still has a ventilator to support her if she needs it. Recent MRI results show a hemorrhage in her right temporal lobe and a small contusion in the right frontal lobe. Her doctors have been aware of those issues, but they will not know the extent of the damage until she wakes up.
“Jan’s body is healing. (We) Do not know what lingering effects her body injuries will have, but there likely will be some,” David said. “Her neurological injuries will take a very long time, if ever, to heal. It will be a long time before we know how much she will recover.”
The Starkville community has rallied around the Morgan family since the accident. A bike safety awareness ride called Ban Together for Jan has been planned for Saturday, June 25. The ride is sponsored by OCH Regional Medical Center and Boardtown Bikes, the bike shop owned by the Morgans. Participants are asked to meet at Boardtown Bikes at 7 a.m., and the ride will begin at 7:30. The ride will promote the Share the Road campaign in honor of Jan.
“At the moment, I would be happy with eye contact. So long as she hurts, I will hurt,” David said. “If the pain I feel is any indication of how much she hurts, then it is severe; sadly she is unable to tell us.”