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

February 18, 2018 05:42 PM

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating a fatal crash that occurred on Highway 252 in Brooklyn Park Saturday.

State Patrol said the crash happened around 8 p.m. A Hyundai Elantra was traveling southbound on Highway 252 near Brookdale Drive, while a Toyota Sequoia was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes. The Toyota struck the Hyundai head-on in the southbound lanes.


The driver of the Hyundai, 30-year-old Jenna Lynn Bixby, of Nowthen, died at the scene. The driver of the Toyota, 72-year-old Richard John Shaka, of Blaine, was transported to North Memorial Medical Center where his injuries are listed as life-threatening. 

Bixby worked for the city of Minneapolis as a 911 dispatcher. She was reportedly on her way into work Saturday night when the crash occurred. 

Alcohol is suspected to be a factor involving Shaka.

The city's 911 director, Heather Hunt, said in a statement Sunday that in the past three years, Bixby had worked as a dispatcher, a communications training officer and a member of the Community Outreach and Education Team, where she volunteered at community events, including Special Olympics fundraisers. 

"Our staff at Minneapolis Emergency Communications is shocked and saddened to lose our teammate Jenna Bixby," the statement reads. "... Jenna embodies the caring, dedication and compassion that are the hallmarks of exceptional public service. She will be greatly missed."

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey issued a statement via his mayoral Facebook page Sunday:

"Minneapolis' Emergency Communications staff work day-and-night to keep people safe," Frey wrote. "As a 911 dispatcher, that's what Jenna Bixby did for years, and what she was on her way to do at City Hall when her life was tragically taken late last night."

He went on to add his thoughts were with Bixby's "family, friends, neighbors, and all of her colleagues who are mourning her loss." Frey also noted Bixby was an extraordinary person.



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