Hit-and-run crash survivor honored at basketball game

Ana Wakefield. (Contributed Photo)

It was an emotional Friday night for the Multnomah University women’s basketball team.

They played their home opener without one of their starters. Ana Wakefield, 20, suffered critical injuries earlier in the week in a car crash.

The coach and players dedicated their performance to Ana. And her sister, Valerie, a guard, wore her jersey, No. 3.

The love and support was all around the Multnomah University gym – from messages of love behind the bench to a gigantic “Pray For Ana” poster with well wishes signed by fellow students and staff.

“Ana is very special in that way. Like I said, just genuine when it comes to how she approaches life, but how she loves people,” said her coach Tim Bieri.

It’s been an emotional week for Bieri as well, but he’s comforted knowing Ana is a fighter.

“Just knowing she’s squeezing people’s hands. She’s giving thumbs up once in a while – these things that are little, but big victories,” Bieri said.

He hasn’t been able to see her just yet, but he had a message for her.

“I would want to tell her, Ana, we’re going to play hard tonight for you, and we love you, and we can’t wait to get you back on the floor,” he said.

There’s a fundraiser for the Wakefield family Saturday at a volleyball tournament in Molalla. Other donations can be sent to Damascus Christian High School.

The crash happened Wednesday in Damascus. Police said a driver in a Ford Explorer hit Ana head-on while she drove her Toyota Camry. He then took off running. Police said they later found a person of interest being treated in a hospital for “injuries consistent with an automobile crash.”

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