Fatal Wrong-Way Crash Victim's Husband Heard Call Over Scanner

February 19, 2018 10:43 PM

State Patrol officials are attempting to reconstruct a wrong-way crash that left a 30-year-old woman dead Saturday night in Brooklyn Park.

The man authorities say drove the wrong way on Highway 252 near Brookdale Drive, 72-year-old Richard Shaka, remained in critical condition at North Memorial Medical Center nearly 48 hours after the crash.


RELATED: Relatives of 911 Dispatcher Killed by Wrong-Way Driver Reflect on Her Life, Their Loss

The wreck ended the life of 911 dispatcher Jenna Bixby, 30, of Nowthen.

Authorities with the Minnesota State Patrol say Shaka lost consciousness after the crash, which happened about 8 p.m. Saturday.

For that reason, officials weren't able to administer a breathalyzer test, though troopers at the scene said they could smell alcohol on Shaka. and it was listed as a contributing factor.  A toxicology test was pending. The result could lead authorities to consider a charge of criminal vehicular homicide in the case. 

Bixby's husband Daniel was miles away from the scene at the couple's home in Nowthen, listening to police scanners, which was a hobby they shared. He heard an emergency in Brooklyn Park involving two vehicles. It sounded bad, he thought. Two hours later, he learned how bad.

"There was a knock at my door, they didn't have to tell me," Daniel Bixby said. "There's only one reason State Patrol knocks on your door. It was horrible."

RELATED: Minneapolis 911 Dispatcher Killed by Wrong-Way Driver on Highway 252

Shaka is a retired teacher and minister who founded All Nations Christian Assembly Church in Northeast Minneapolis. He taught theology at North Central University from 1996-2011.

Jenna Bixby devoted her life to ensuring everyone made it home from a scene, whether in Minneapolis, Anoka or Ramsey counties. She didn't. And when people come across her picture or her story, her husband wants her death to make a difference.

"We want it to remind them this is why you don't drink and drive."

Bixby's family has established a GoFundMe page in her honor, donations to which will benefit causes close to her heart, including animal rescue groups and organizations that work to prevent drinking and driving. 


Beth McDonough

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