Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

For a Display of Olympian Resilience, Court Clerk Wins in a Walk

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

For a Display of Olympian Resilience, Court Clerk Wins in a Walk

Article excerpt

WHAT CAME over Julie Dooley?

The mild-mannered court clerk for the Village of Marlborough claims she only wanted to do something she could tell her grandchildren about. She claims she decided to help carry the Olympic Torch Monday morning on its wayward route to the U.S. Olympic Festival here after her sister talked her out of parasailing.

But a person, even one who doesn't know her very well, might be tempted to read something more into it, considering that Dooley has spent much of her 43 years on the sidelines of the sporting life.

That habit began on a Sunday afternoon in March 1959. Julie, then Julie Ellis, and her sister, Donna, were walking home along the shoulder of Old Lemay Ferry Road. The girls, 8 and 9, had gone to a confectionery to buy candy bars for their five brothers and sisters, a Pepsi for their mother and some soup.

As their mother had told them to, they walked single-file, well off the road.

Donna heard the car first, bearing down fast from behind. And as it entered a tight curve at 65 miles an hour, it struck Donna first. She was thrown 20 feet and landed on her back, both legs smashed.

Julie was not so lucky. The rear bumper snagged her right leg and dragged her behind the vehicle as it careened out of control. She was dragged 70 feet until the car crashed to a stop in a thicket of saplings in a creek bed.

The Highway Patrol summoned an osteopath, Dr. Howard Soman, who ran a nearby clinic in Arnold. He decided that Julie could not be freed from the car unless her mangled leg was amputated. Neighbors wrapped Julie in blankets, while others stood on the saplings to keep the branches from interfering with the operation.

Soman gave Julie a small dose of morphine to ease her pain, and borrowed a pocket knife with a 2-inch blade from a state trooper. Working by the headlights of a patrol car, Soman cut through the muscle, tendon and shattered bone of Julie's leg just below the knee.

Julie and Donna were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Kirkwood, where they shared a room for several weeks.

The driver of the car pleaded guilty of reckless driving.

The driver told state troopers that his accelerator had stuck, causing him to lose control of his car. …

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