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. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

ADVERTISEMENT