Harrison County

Little girl's shocking accident inspired Biloxi to act

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD 
 Dawn Luckey is at the bedside of her daughter Skyla on April 1, 1992. The family lived in Houston then, but Skyla recuperated for awhile in Biloxi after a speeding car hit her as she rode a bicycle on Iberville Drive, where her great-aunt lived.
TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD Dawn Luckey is at the bedside of her daughter Skyla on April 1, 1992. The family lived in Houston then, but Skyla recuperated for awhile in Biloxi after a speeding car hit her as she rode a bicycle on Iberville Drive, where her great-aunt lived.

Every time I pull up to the stop sign on Iberville Drive in Biloxi, I think of Skyla Luckey.

She was 7 years old when we met in April 1992, an adorable blonde with big blue eyes. She wore a full-body cast and lay in a hospital bed at her great-aunt's house on Iberville.

Skyla was injured while riding a bicycle during a family gathering at her great-aunt's. A speeding car hit her, slamming Skyla head-first into the windshield.

I had a little blonde girl of my own at home back then, so Skyla's story was particularly poignant for me. Doctors did not think Skyla would live, but here she was, recuperating.

Within days of her accident, while Skyla fought for her life in the hospital, family members and Iberville Drive neighbors showed up at a City Council meeting, imploring the city to slow traffic on their residential street.

Iberville is the first street connecting U.S. 90 and Pass Road on the west side of Keesler Air Force Base. Cars and trucks flew up and down the road daily back then.

The tragedy brought tears to the eyes of then-Council President Russ Bistle.

When Skyla was well enough to leave the hospital and return to her great-aunt's house, the family invited a reporter and photographer over to talk about the accident and the need for a stop sign at Iberville and Bilmarsan, where Skyla was hit.

As soon as she was up to it, Skyla returned with her family to Magee, Miss., where they lived at the time. The city decided the stop sign should be installed.

I never thought Skyla and I would connect again. But we have -- on Twitter, of all places.

We have been following one another for awhile now. I'm so glad she is healthy and happy. And best of all, she is a multimedia journalist. She also acts and loves to travel.

Earlier this week on Twitter, Skyla shared a link to the miraculous story of her accident and recovery, which she'd posted on her blog.

It is reprinted in the newspaper today, with her permission. She was excited residents would be able to read her thanks for all their prayers and support back then. I hope you will read her story. It is pretty amazing.

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