A 911 dispatcher was killed in a car crash in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota that was allegedly caused by a wrong-way driver, according to CBS Minnesota. At around 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jenna Bixby was on her way to work at the Minneapolis 911 Center, traveling southbound in her Hyundai Elantra on Highway 252, when she was struck head-on by a Toyota Sequoia driven by 72-year-old retired pastor Richard Shaka, who was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes.
The 911 dispatcher was killed in the Brooklyn Park crash, and her husband, Daniel Bixby, was at home listening to the police scanner when he heard an emergency call about a crash on Highway 252. He was able to hear the voice of an officer reporting the victim’s condition as “not breathing, unresponsive.”
People confirms that Daniel was unaware of the identity of the car crash victim until two hours later when two Minnesota State Police officers knocked on his door to deliver the news.
In a Facebook post, Daniel wrote, “Please know that I never stopped loving you with all my heart, and I will never stop loving you.”
Minnesota State Patrol believes that Shaka was intoxicated at the time of the car crash. One of the officers at the scene claim to have caught a whiff of alcohol emitting from the pastor’s body, but they were unable to conduct a breathalyzer test due to the pastor’s injuries.
UPDATE: Wrong-way driver in Brooklyn Center crash that killed Nowthen woman is pastor who founded All Nations Christian Assembly in Minneapolis. Richard Shaka is hospitalized in critical condition. | https://t.co/otEKec5sWb pic.twitter.com/zzziKrK4fv— WCCO - CBS Minnesota (@WCCO) February 18, 2018
Paramedics transported Shaka, who is from Blaine and is well-known in the community, to North Memorial Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Authorities have yet to announce any criminal charges that the former pastor of a Northeast Minneapolis church could face if he survives his injuries.
Jenna became a 911 dispatcher nearly four years ago. Relatives say she had a passion for helping others, which prompted her to obtain a degree in law enforcement.
In a statement, Minneapolis Emergency Communications, where Jenna worked, stated that they were “saddened by the loss of their teammate.”
“She was dedicated to helping others and was taken from us on her way to do just that,” the statement continued. “Jenna embodies the caring, dedication and compassion that are the hallmarks of exceptional public service. She will be greatly missed.”
Relatives of the 911 dispatcher established Jenna’s GoFund Me account to help pay for her funeral arrangements. Within 18 hours, they were able to raise $980, but their goal is to reach $50,000.
An investigation into the Highway 252 car crash continues.