GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- “Our dreams were destroyed at the middle of that intersection and so it was hard,” said John Janhnke.
In an exclusive conversation with Local 5’s Eric Richards Janhnke recalls a recent traffic collision involving him and his 13-year-old son John, at Monroe and Main in Green Bay on June 25th. “On Friday, we were out for our regular bike ride. We had stopped at the intersection in the left turn lane,” said Janhnke. The two were using a custom tandem bike because the younger John has autism and it is comfortable for him. At that intersection, they were rear-ended causing major damage to the bike. Luckily, they were not injured.
When the initial collision happened, witnesses stopped to offer assistance to them. When word got around about the need for a new custom tandem bike, a Go Fund Me page was created. “Before we knew it the donations were coming in,” said Janhnke. It helps because the motorist who struck them reportedly is uninsured. ” I don’t wish any ill will to them at all, I was really glad my son was not hurt,” said Janhnke.
This is much more than a story about a special bike, it’s about a community who quickly rallied together to provide emotional and financial support. “I looked at the bike, this bike is our lifeline. My son is autistic and non-verbal and this is how he settles,” said Janhnke.
Leah Norem Janhnke, John’s wife, choked back tears as she recalled the kindness they have been shown. “It’s amazing how people have come forward and done for us. We cannot thank you enough,” said Norem Janhnke.
The younger John is no stranger to the community. He has quite a following on social media. The family is working with Bike Hub in De Pere on a replacement, now that they have raised enough money for a replacement.They are hoping to be back on the road in a week or so.