Up Close with Shawn Bradley

Sep 20, 2022, 10:45 PM | Updated: 11:04 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah — In January 2021, NBA legend Shawn Bradley was hit by a car while riding his bicycle in St. George, Utah. The accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. In an exclusive interview, Shawn and his wife Carrie take KSL TV to the scene of the accident where their lives were upended.

Even though the area is less than a quarter mile from their home, they’ve only been there one other time. It was shortly after Shawn was released from the hospital, and he has no memory of that visit. They went together as a family to help everyone heal from the trauma that took place that day.

Shawn Bradley was hit by a car while riding his bicycle in St. George, Utah. The accident left him paralyzed from the shoulders down.

“We thought that it was important for the ones that were involved at the time to be able to process it all together,” Carrie said.

Both Shawn and Carrie say there is still a bit of PTSD that happens when they go near the area. They rarely even drive by. For Shawn, it’s just too painful.

“I always wonder, what if I just stopped at the last light for three more seconds? Or if I’d taken a different route. I really try to distract myself while we’re in that area,” he said.

Shawn was riding on the shoulder of the road when he was bumped by a passing vehicle. Hundreds of bicyclists ride that road every day. Carrie worries something might happen to someone else.

“Cars don’t care. They just fly by.”

The collision sent Shawn over the top of a parked car and headfirst onto the road, injuring his neck and paralyzing him.

“I get emotional. I get little tears thinking about it, but it’s not about the tragedy or what could have been; it’s about the sweet people around that just stepped up.”

(Becky Hansen, Smile Creations Portrait Studio, St. George, Utah)

Carrie said together, they are focusing on being positive in the hard times.

“If we focus on the tragedy, it’s going to be so much worse. But if you look at one positive, then it leads to another positive and leads to another positive, and somehow, we learn to survive the crazy.”

Shawn said, “Being positive is going to be so much more healthy for me, for my recovery, and for the family.”

Both Shawn and Carrie hope by sharing their story, drivers will think twice whenever they drive by a cyclist.









To see more about his story, watch “Strangely Grateful” on Sunday, Oct. 2nd at noon, just after the morning session of General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Up Close

(KSL TV)...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: Girls Wrestling Booming In Utah

Once a real shocker in high school sports, girls wrestling has becoming one of the most popular growing sports in the country. That’s why the season may be over but practice continues for many girls.

3 years ago

Albee Bostrom and Sissy McDade turned their love of thrift store shopping into a business: Thrift H...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: Young Entrepreneurs Turn Thrift Store Shopping Into Full-Time Business

A simple hobby of thrift store shopping has turned into a full-time business for a couple of young entrepreneurs in Utah County. They’ve now opened up their very own unique thrift store with a flash to the past. We are talking about the 1980s and 1990s era.

3 years ago

Courtney Kimball and her sister Kym Frey help women living in the slums of San Pedro Sula, Honduras...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: ‘One Common Thread’ Organization Helping Women In Poverty

Two Utah sisters - one now living in one of the most dangerous cities in the world - are helping to bring women out of poverty by teaching them a skill that’s giving them new hope.

3 years ago

A BYU project called the "Rheumatic Relief" project is helping to heal children's hearts and save h...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: BYU Project Tests Samoan Children For Heart Conditions

A BYU project tests Samoan children for heart conditions, helping to heal damaged hearts and save hundreds of lives.

3 years ago


Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: West Jordan Girl Sings Her Way Into National Spotlight

An eight-year-old girl from West Jordan has won an incredible award. She became the Grand Champion Vocalist of the year in the 25th annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, Texas.

3 years ago

Man with dwarfism is an accomplished collegiate-level pianist and composer (Courtesy: KSL TV)...

Dan Rascon, KSL TV

Up Close: Man With Dwarfism Overcomes Challenges To Play Piano

A Utah man suffering with a curved spine and deformed arms, legs and hands, has somehow managed to become an accomplished collegiate-level pianist and composer – writing his own notes and singing his own songs.

3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Up Close with Shawn Bradley