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. 

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Up Close with Shawn Bradley