IBJNews

Couple works to bring good from wedding day crash

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Tom and Lauren Hanley's wedding day turned tragic two years ago when a traffic accident killed a groomsman and injured others in their bridal party.

The Indianapolis couple is now using some of their settlement in a lawsuit from the crash to support a mutual passion to get youth active through bicycling.

They are donating $25,000 in a challenge grant to a not-for-profit organization co-founded by Tom Hanley, called Nine13sports, which provides free cycling programs for youth.

Both of them are athletic and enjoy cycling. They credit sports and exercise with helping them deal with the aftermath of the tragedy on June 5, 2010.

On that day, the couple and the bridal party were riding on a shuttle bus for a photo session when the driver ran a red light at the intersection of South and Delaware streets in Downtown Indianapolis, colliding with another vehicle. The crash killed Tom Hanley's best friend, Jim Douglas, 29, Indianapolis, and injured 14 others on the bus.

The wedding ceremony went on, but at Methodist Hospital, where some in the wedding party were treated for their injuries.

The Hanleys and some other riders sued John Mavris, the Mavris Arts and Event Center where the wedding was planned and the shuttle bus company, claiming negligence for providing an unsafe vehicle that was too small to accommodate the party and a driver who was not properly licensed to operate the shuttle. All parties to the lawsuit settled last week, but terms don't permit him to release the full amount of the settlement, said Tom Hanley, 25, who has won several national cycling championships.

The rest of their legal settlement, Tom Hanley says, will go toward paying already incurred medical costs from a mild traumatic brain injury and two broken vertebrae he suffered. But he said they accepted a less-than-desirable settlement, as no provisions were made for future medical costs, expected to exceed $300,000 for medications and other treatment. His brain injury affects his speech and cognitive skills, including word usage, name recall and spatial recognition.

Lauren Hanley, 27, who dealt with cervical cancer before they were married, escaped with minor injuries. She's now a crime analysis supervisor for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

While the last few years have been hard, Tom Hanley said they're trying to make positive things come from the accident.

"The events of the tragedy will forever be part of who we are," he said. "Our passion for community and the belief that Nine13sports is part of the solution to combat childhood obesity in central Indiana lets this pledge back up our words with action."

Nine13sports, formed in 2009 by Hanley and two partners, provides six-week exercise programs using stationary bicycle simulators for youth ages 8 to 18 at schools and youth-focused groups, including the Indianapolis Boys and Girls Clubs this summer.

The bicycles are linked to a computer, which projects the riders' speed and distance on a big-screen TV. They follow courses with simulated hills and other challenges.

"This matching gift challenge idea is quite simple," said John Singleton, operations director for Nine13sports. "It allows us to find nine grant and endowment organizations or individual benefactors who are willing make the same pledge as the Hanley family."

Although the challenge sets out to identify nine benefactors willing to pledge $25,000 each, Singleton said the real goal is to raise $225,000 from anyone in any amount to support the organization's work for two years. The group is on track to provide 7,500 interactions with about 2,500 youth this year. It plans to work with Sidener Academy in Indianapolis Public Schools and other schools in a few weeks.

The couple has specified their donation be in memory of Douglas, the friend they lost. The executive staff at Nine13sports is pursuing grants already in process and starting communication with potential new donors.

Specific inquiries can be addressed to grants(at)nine13sports.org. The group has a website, www.nine13sports.org, and the Hanleys have a blog that can found on their website, www.thehanleyhappenings.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

  2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

  3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

  4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

  5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.

ADVERTISEMENT