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Park City Day Care Teacher Hit By Car Recovering After Surgery

KPCW Radio

Janis Byler, the Park City day care teacher who was hit by a car crossing Park Avenue on the opening day of Sundance, is in the hospital recovering. 

Janis Byler’s daughter, Erin Ellis, told KPCW Byler had surgery Thursday evening to address a head and neck injury. Doctors said the surgery, to fuse Byler’s head and spine back together, was the riskiest procedure for her, but it went well.

Late Friday afternoon, Byler went back into surgery to repair breaks in her pelvis. Ellis says Byler also has bleeding around her brain; facial fractures; a broken sternum and rib; and damage to her large intestine. She also suffered some small strokes.

Just after 6:30 a.m. Thursday, a man driving a 2001 Chevrolet Suburban hit the 58-year-old Byler, a Park City resident and teacher at the Park City School District Child Care Center, as she was crossing Park Avenue, in front of Fresh Market. Utah Highway Patrol reports Byler was using the designated crosswalk there. A witness says the pedestrian warning lights were activated at the time she was hit. The driver told UHP he was unable to see her.

After hitting Byler, UHP says the driver used his car to block the lane where she was lying on the road. UHP reports emergency personnel arrived soon after and started CPR. An ambulance took Byler to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Ellis says Byler was responsive and able to open her eyes Friday. Ellis is hopeful about her mother’s progress but says she’ll have a long road to recovery and rehabilitation ahead of her.

Ellis says she and her siblings grew up in Ohio, but now her family lives and works in the Park City area. She’s thankful for the prayers and outpouring of love from her family’s friends and the community. A GoFundMe account has been set up to support Byler’s medical costs. The family has also created a CaringBridgesite to update family and friends on Byler’s condition. 

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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