A minister and former college professor was charged Thursday with being drunk when he drove the wrong way on a Brooklyn Park highway and killed a motorist in a head-on crash as she traveled to her job as a Minneapolis 911 dispatcher.
Richard J.M. Shaka, 72, of Blaine, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the nighttime collision on Feb. 17 with Jenna L. Bixby, 30, on Hwy. 252.
Shaka was seriously injured in the crash and remains hospitalized at North Memorial Medical Center. Authorities intend to take him into custody upon his release from the hospital.
Emergency personnel who tended to Shaka disclosed that he "had an overwhelming odor [of alcohol] ... emanating from him as he was carried to an ambulance" that night, the charges read.
Tests revealed that Shaka's blood alcohol content soon after the wreck was 0.168 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
Bixby's husband, Daniel Bixby, was listening to the emergency dispatch audio that first reported the crash, said Andrew Williams, who heads two Twin Cities scanner monitoring groups online. Daniel Bixby could hear an officer on the scene report that his wife was "not breathing, unresponsive."
Two hours later, State Patrol troopers went to Bixby's home to deliver the grim news, Williams said.
Bixby, of Nowthen in northern Anoka County, had been a Minneapolis dispatcher for roughly 3 ½ years. Mayor Jacob Frey and emergency communications director Heather Hunt both released statements of condolence and also praised Bixby for her role in protecting the public.
Shaka was driving his sport-utility vehicle north on southbound Hwy. 252 just north of Brookdale Drive when he hit Bixby's car, according authorities.
Shaka taught at North Central University in Minneapolis in the Bible and Theology Department from 1996 until he retired in 2011. His wife, Farella, also taught at North Central. She died in 2016.
He founded All Nations Christian Assembly in northeast Minneapolis and was a senior pastor there for more than 17 years, as was his wife.
Shaka also founded a Twin Cities nonprofit that builds orphanages and youth centers in his native Sierra Leone.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482