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Bike accident victim to donate organs

Monday, May 23, 2011

A North Valley native took all the precautions, but a terrible accident landed her in the hospital. Her family now says there is no hope of recovery.

The family of 29-year-old Crystel Stanford says severe skull fractures and brain swelling have taken the life of their daughter.

Crystel Stanford had always planned to donate her organs. Her family said even though she's brain dead, doctors are keeping her organs alive until they can find recipients.

Friends and family say Crystel Stanford was a thrill seeker who knew her limits. "She just sought after adventure, it's been unbelievable to lose her," said family friend Amy Anderson.

The young cyclist crashed her bike in the Sierra Foothills Saturday. She was riding in a 100-mile race around Fresno County.

Crystel's long-time boyfriend, Dirk, was riding behind her when she lost control of her bike. "They had been doing this a while, it was just a ride, it was their safe weekend."

Crystel's family says her thrill seeking bug kicked in during college. That's when she began sky diving -- even taking her mom, Penny along for the ride.

She always wanted to learn something new, her friends say. But she always did it the safe way.

The 29-year-old U.C. Davis graduate grew up on a farm in Chowchilla. Her family says the fact that she's brain dead is tough to take in. But they say, they know Crystel would be happy with knowing her death will help others.

"It was incredibly important to her, that if anything happened like this that she would be able to help people. I think she would be thrilled to know that possibly 8 people are going to be changed because of her. I know that it helps the family to know that people are benefiting from it, so much," said Anderson.

The California Highway Patrol says Crystel crashed her bike when she was riding downhill. They say she tried to slow down when her tire skidded and caused her to lose control.

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