First-Grader Released From Hospital After Catastrophic St. Louis Car Accident

An Iowa girl is recovering from injuries sustained in a serious St. Louis car crash, the Fort Madison Daily Democrat reported Aug. 4. Shyanna Hoenig was on her way to the St. Louis Zoo with her family when a driver pulled out unexpectedly and hit the side of her mother’s van. Shyanna sustained damage to her aorta as well as intestinal damage so serious that three sections had to be removed. She was taken to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis, which released her last week — in time to start the first grade at the end of August.
Shyanna’s mother, Sarah Hoenig, said she was on Highway 61 when she passed a car stopped on the median. When she saw that driver pull out suddenly into the road, she swerved to avoid a collision. Unfortunately, the car hit the side of their van, sending it into a rock bluff. Shyanna was the most seriously hurt of the seven people in the van — in part because she was wearing a lap-only seat belt, which her mother said was improper for children of that age. Because the belt was around her abdomen rather than her lap, the impact damaged Shyanna’s aorta — the vital arterty that comes from the heart — and parts of her intestine that Sarah Hoenig said looked like hamburger.
Iowa law does not require children over six to use booster seats, although safety experts recommend it. Here in Missouri, children ages 4 through 7, or weighing between 40 and 80 pounds, must use an appropriate safety seat or booster seat. As the article notes, this elevates the child to allow the seat belt to cross his or her lap, preventing serious injuries like Shyanna’s or possibly even death.
I am glad that this little girl and her family have what appears to be a good outcome to her medical care. But as a St. Louis auto accident attorney, I know that they probably also face substantial financial losses as a result of the accident. Shyanna spent more than two weeks in hospitals — and even if the family has insurance, that’s likely to be very expensive. Because St. Louis is a fair drive from their home, her parents may also have had to take all of that time off work to be with her and be part of her care. And of course, they probably faced costs for repair or replacement of the van and care for the other family members. All of this can be financially devastating for an ordinary family, which is why so many accident victims come to our Missouri car crash lawyers for help.


Based in St. Louis and Belleville, Ill., the Lowe Law Firm helps victims of serious accidents recover compensation for these and other accident-related costs. If you were in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or law-breaking, we can hold that person legally and financially responsible for the injuries he or she caused. In most cases, our St. Louis car wreck attorneys can secure the money our clients need through aggressive negotiations with insurance companies. However, if necessary, we are more than happy to take your case to a court of law to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries. That includes compensation for the injury itself and any permanent disability or wrongful death, as well as compensation for all of the financial costs, including future medical care and the cost of lost income.
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt by another driver’s carelessness, the Lowe Law Firm would like to help. To learn more about your rights and tell us your story at a free consultation, please contact us online or call 1-877-678-3400 today.