South Dakota PRCA bareback rider Austin Janis dies in car accident | TSLN.com

South Dakota PRCA bareback rider Austin Janis dies in car accident

Bareback rider Austin Janis died in a traffic accident near Wray, CO early Jan. 15, while returning home to South Dakota just hours after making his debut as a PRCA card holder at the SandHills Stock Show & Rodeo. He was 24.

Janis and saddle bronc rider Jeremy Meeks, 30, were driving north on U.S. Route 385 when a teenage woman crossed the center line in her Oldsmobile and hit their Chevrolet van head on. The van rolled at least twice after the collision and Janis was ejected.

He was declared dead at the scene and taken to the Yuma County morgue.

Meeks, who was asleep in the back of the van at the time of the accident, and the driver of the other vehicle were transported 20 miles to Wray Community District Hospital where they were treated and released.

Janis, of Rosebud, SD, qualified for the 2011 Ram Badlands Circuit Finals Rodeo and placed in two-rounds there while competing on his permit and finished third in the Indian National Finals Rodeo standings. He was a member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.

Odessa was Janis’ first rodeo since purchasing his PRCA card on Dec. 15 and he debuted with a 71-point ride on Harry Vold Rodeo’s Cracker Barrel on Jan. 14.

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Janis is survived by his son, Morgan, 3; fiancee, Dusty Hippen; parents, Ben Janis and Kara Rank; sisters Lacey Wells, Sami Gourneau, Kacey Gourneau and Brooke Janis; and brothers Jordan Gourneau, Elliott Gourneau and Bryce Janis. PRCA rodeo judge Marty Jandreau is his uncle.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 21 at the Lower Brule (SD) Community Center. Family services will be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 19-20 at the same location.

– PRCA