Family: Valley native declared brain dead after cycling crash
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The California Highway Patrol says the cyclist was trying to slow down while riding downhill on a steep road in the Sierra Foothills.
They say Crystel Stanford was thrown from the bike and suffered severe head injuries.
Sunday Action News learned a 48-year-old man from Clovis was seriously injured in a crash, this one occured about an hour before Stanford's.
Both crashes happened on Kings Canyon Rd. near Hills Valley about 30 miles east of Fresno.
The hospital says the Clovis man is in serious condition.
However, the situation is much more grim for 29-year-old Crystel Stanford.
The hospital has her listed in very critical condition.
But Sunday night her mother, Penny, told Action News that she's been declared brain dead.
Crystel Stanford, 28, grew up here in the Central Valley.
According to the CHP report, Crystel was cycling downhill Saturday along this steep and winding section of Kings Canyon Road near Hills Valley.
It was here, the CHP says Stanford, who was wearing her helmet, violently hit the road. The crash shattered her helmet. Her family says crystel has severe skull fractures.
Crystel was flown to Community Regional Medical Center but her family told Action News that her injuries were just too severe. She's been on life support ever since.
The news of the crash has left the close knit Fresno cycling community with heavy hearts.
"It's news that nobody wants to hear, but it's unfortunately when you're out there riding the roads, it's one of the things that's a possibility," Larry Peer said.
Crystel's family says she didn't start pushing her limits until college.
This is YouTube video from 2008, Crystel is seen skydiving above Lodi.
She even convinced her mom to go along for the thrill.
Action News was told Crystel's long time boyfriend, Dirk, was riding behind her when the accident happened.
Crystel's organs will soon be donated. Her family says their healthy daughter may save up to 8 lives. Something, they say, Crystel would be proud of.
california highway patrol, clovis, fresno county, local, rick montanez
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