The Current volunteer suffers severe head injury in bike accident

Categories: Music News
Shaina-560.jpg
Photo courtesy David Briscoe.
Shaina sustained a traumatic brain injury during the accident.

A bicyclist sustained a severe head injury after colliding with a car during a race in downtown Minneapolis Saturday.

Shaina Briscoe, 28, an avid cyclist and volunteer for 89.3 The Current, has been unconscious and in intensive care since the accident. Shaina is a loud advocate for bike safety, and was wearing a helmet -- which remained intact -- at the time of the crash, says her father, David Briscoe.

"In that community, she is known as the safest and most clear-thinking cyclist among them," says David. "She criticizes everybody else for taking chances and for not wearing helmets and for drinking and riding."

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Minneapolis bike crash rate drops as riders increase

It's unclear exactly how the accident transpired, but Shaina collided with the car at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Washington Avenue south around 3 p.m. Dozens of cyclists came to her aid, and she was rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center.

Shaina sustained a traumatic brain injury and a broken jaw in the crash, and doctors believe she could be unconscious for another two to three weeks, says David.

"After that, it's going to be months before they understand the full extent of her brain trauma, and the effect it's going to have on her," he says. "And then more time after that before they start to develop a prognosis for her recovery."

On Sunday, after learning of the accident, the Current played Chastity Brown's "Lift Us" in tribute to Shaina, and wished her a speedy recovery.

"Shaina is one of our super star volunteers, representing 89.3 The Current for years at community events, the State Fair, Rock the Cradle, our Habitat for Humanity outing, various rock shows around town, and of course, the Team MPR MS Bike Ride," says Minnesota Public Radio spokeswoman Jen Keavy in an emailed statement. "We're obviously heartbroken and devastated about this. She's part of the MPR family and we're all hoping for the best and wishing her a full recovery."

A graduate of Principia College, Shaina works as a grant administrator for the McKnight Foundation. She started biking a few years ago, and quickly immersed herself into the rich Minneapolis cycling culture, hanging around bike shops and riding competitively, says David. Already this year, Shaina has biked four 100-mile races.

Since the accident, about 100 people have come to visit Shaina in the hospital and show their support, says David. A fund has also been set up to raise money for medical expenses (donate here).

"People who come through say, if there's anybody who can get through this it's Shaina," says David, "because she's the grittiest, toughest competitor they know." 

Update 3:10 p.m.:

According to witness accounts given to investigators, Shaina ran a red light in the busy Washington-Hennepin intersection and crashed into the SUV, says Minneapolis police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington.

Moments before the accident, the driver of the SUV paused at a green light as a group of cyclists passed by, running their red light, says Barrington. The driver "looked around, everything was clear. She proceeded on her green, and [Shaina] ran the red and struck her SUV."


Police are still investigating the accident. Barrington notes that it wasn't a city-sanctioned bike race, meaning the roads were not closed to cars.

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28 comments
sarahlovan
sarahlovan

Compassion people. This was a nicely written tribute to Shaina. A woman is in a hospital bed fighting for her life. Perhaps the circumstances seem ripe for your pointed comment, but it'd be a really kind act of humanity if from here on we keep posts positive and uplifting. My thoughts are with Shaina, her family, and friends in the wake of this accident. And Ms. Shaina, when you wake up, let's see if we can find a time for Ms. Chastity Brown to sing that song in person, right?! A bright spot to look forward to...

renogruber
renogruber

Get better, girl.  We got whiskey to pound at Cannonball in a few months!

marquardt.steve
marquardt.steve

Certainly a tragedy for Shaina.  As a cyclist who for the past 20 years has completed ten cross-state rides and enjoys leisure-time cycling on urban trails and county roads, I don't understand the concept of an urban bike "race" that occurs in regular vehicle traffic that moves in accord with (or is some cases such as this, contrary to) ever-changing traffic lights.  Something is missing in this story, because that concept strikes me as a disaster waiting to happen, and did happen to Shaina.

stevens1
stevens1

it seems running a red light is a "thing" in mpls because bikers want to retain their speed. That being said when you do this you risk death, i've come close to hitting a handful of bikers this summer that refuse to stop at red lights and stop signs. 

Eddie Phillips
Eddie Phillips

A cyclist running a red light, something you never see downtown MPLS

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Always a sad thing to hear. With that said, I bike, and I kind of realize when I do it that if I do so in any city limits on public streets it comes with a risk...much like a motorcycle would. Not every bicyclist is hit by a drunk driver. 

Always try and follow proper etiquette, and realize its a privilege to drive on the road with cars...even if it is currently a right. 

natearch
natearch

Hmmmmm...a lesson, eh?  For something that irritates you.  The only lesson here is that you have a very weird view of this little corner of the world.  

kannww
kannww

Too many bicyclists don't follow the rules of the road and they regularly irritate me. Sorry she has to endure these injuries maybe it'll be a lesson to the rest of them who think they are above the law.


ru12xu1
ru12xu1

Prayers and best wishes go out to Shaina. My brother suffered a TBI from a bike crash over 5 years ago. The road to recovery may require lots of support from friends and family

Erica Anderson
Erica Anderson

Amy-what about the woman who was killed by a falling tree a couple of weeks ago? She wasn't a bike. To avoid being injured or killed while biking takes some common sense and a helmet.

kennyX
kennyX topcommenter

"In that community, she is known as the safest and most clear-thinking cyclist among them,"......

And yet she runs a red light and almost gets herself killed?

Katie Brandt
Katie Brandt

Thanks for making the connection, Justin! Truly appreciate the support and getting the word out.

Andy Mannix
Andy Mannix

Justin Eisenzimmer Thanks for pointing out the donation page. I just added a link to the story.

Dacia Durham
Dacia Durham

I saw the aftermath of it, her bike & tires were all bent up. Prayers out to her.

kennyX
kennyX topcommenter

@stevens1 When I lived in the city, I used to bicycle all the time. And I admit that I blew through stop signs and stop lights all the time. However, I *at least* made the attempt to slow down and look both ways before proceeding. When idiots just plow through the red light without even looking, they deserve what they get. I feel no empathy for bicyclists who don't even bother to look out for their own safety let alone the safety of others. This accident is nothing more than Darwinism in action.

A1batross
A1batross

@kennyX Actually, you stupid troll, that's kind of the point. Even the safest and most clear-thinking cyclist can get caught in a traffic accident. That's why it's smart to do like Briscoe did and practice safer biking - her helmet is probably why she remains alive.

But please, don't feel obligated to wear one yourself.

bill.e.goat
bill.e.goat

@kennyX But then again, you don't fell empathy for anyone so this statement is about as hollow as your soul.

kennyX
kennyX topcommenter

@A1batross As par for the course, the poisoned Liberal mind fails to make any sense.  So you are telling me that running a red light is practicing "safer biking" just because she had her helmet on? You logic escapes me. That's like saying running a red light in your car while having your seat belt on is practicing safe driving.

*shakes head*

funnylittleman
funnylittleman

@kennyX @A1batross This has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative.  Please stop leaving inflammatory remarks to get attention.  If you can't read into the article enough to see that running the red light is out of character for her, then maybe you should focus on reading at a different level.  I don't know.  

And really, name calling?  

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