RENO, NV (KOLO) A Reno father and his three-year-old daughter were hit by a driver while crossing the street the evening of June 6, 2019. The two were using a marked crosswalk at the intersection of Double Diamond and Carat Avenue when they were hit by a driver heading west.
The scene where two pedestrians were injured on Carat Avenue. Photo by Noah Bond/KOLO.
"My brother-in-law noticed that the car was not stopping and so he picked my niece up and prevented her from being crushed and he's truly a hero because he saved her life," Darci Birkenbeul, the girl's aunt, says.
Shannon and his daughter were taken to Renown Regional Medical Center to be treated for what police say were serious injuries.
The family says Shannon is in stable condition and is recovering from facial surgery; however, his daughter's condition is critical. She is in a coma.
"She has a broken leg, two breaks in her pelvis, broken neck, broken jaw and two brain bleeds. surgery has been done to set her leg and have also done surgery to put two plates in her face to fix her jaw. She is still on a respirator and still remains in a coma," Birkenbeul says.
Reno Police have not yet released the cause of the crash. Birkenbeul hopes this serves as a wake-up call for the entire community and can help prevent future tragedies.
"Our heart goes out to the driver, as well. I don't know anyone who hasn't picked up a phone or looked down while driving and what I'd like to say to the other drivers in the Reno area is that phone call is not as important as a child's life or a human life," she says.
The family is holding on to hope. A GoFundMe account has been started to help pay for medical costs. The family expects to be out of work for months as they brace themselves for the road ahead.
"We want to thank the community for all the donations that they've made and it's going to be months and if there's anything that can help can help and the staff at Renown and Dr. Song specifically," Birkenbeul says.
Copyright KOLO-TV 2019