Saturday, May 21, 2016

Brannen Greene escapes burning car

Former Kansas University basketball player Brannen Greene escaped serious injury when his car exploded in the Bronx, N.Y. Friday night.

Former Kansas University basketball player Brannen Greene escaped serious injury when his car exploded in the Bronx, N.Y. Friday night.


Former Kansas University basketball guard Brannen Greene, who has been based in White Plains, N.Y., the past six weeks as he trains for the 2016 NBA Draft, barely escaped a blazing car accident late Friday night in N.Y., and survived the ordeal with what appear to be only minor injuries, his dad, Jeffrey, said Saturday.

“Brannen was trapped inside a car as a (ride-sharing service) passenger following an accident at Major Deegan Expressway, Bronx, N.Y., and 233rd St., after arriving from Los Angeles where he had NBA team workouts,” Jeffrey said. “The car was struck from behind with so much force it immediately went airborne, came down on a guardrail (with Brannen in back seat), went airborne again and caught fire. It exploded no more than five seconds after he escaped through an opening in a shattered window,” Jeff added.

The driver in the front seat apparently was not injured seriously, though Jeffrey Greene said at least one person in the car that rear-ended the car Greene was riding in was apparently injured.

“Everything in the car — his phone, his computer, his luggage was burned and destroyed. The police said Brannen should not have survived. He walked away from it with a terrible headache, all-over body aches but for the most part he’s just dealing with mental trauma,” Jeff Greene said. “To think he survived this … he said when the car got hit he felt like he was asleep, dreaming. He said, ‘I could see all this fire and I was getting hot.’ He said, ‘I’ve got to get out. I couldn’t get out. I couldn’t find my seatbelt and the wraps. I got scared. I finally hit it and the seat belt came loose. I jumped out the window and started running. Five seconds later it sounded like a bomb (with car engulfed in flames).’

“He got up and walked to the Sprint store today (after getting ride back to his condo and a long night’s sleep) because he had no way of reaching anybody. He has no broken bones. He’s extremely lucky,” Jeff added.

Jeff Greene said Brannen did not go to the hospital immediately after the accident. He said he felt well enough to merely hitch a ride to his condo.

“The policeman that drove him was a basketball fan. He said, ‘Aren’t you that kid who plays for Kansas? Are you Brannen Greene?’” Jeff Greene said. “He said, ‘Yes sir.’ The policeman gave him a ride and told him he was lucky to be alive.”

Greene at his dad’s urging did go to the hospital on Saturday night to get examined. “He has checked out OK,” Jeff said. “Nothing’s broken. He doesn’t even want any pain meds. He’s back in his condo resting now.

“He told me, ‘Dad, I don’t care about belongings. I don’t care about the NBA practice jerseys I got (that burned). Dad I’m alive and I swear I’m not supposed to be here. I knew I was dead,’’’ Jeffrey related.

“To think they said five seconds after he climbed out of a window the car exploded … I could have gotten that call, ‘Mr. Greene can you and your family get to New York now?’ Knowing I’d have lost a kid for life. I started crying just thinking about it.”

Greene, a 6-8 guard from Juliette, Ga., recently completed his junior year at KU and declared for the NBA Draft. He’s considered a likely candidate to receive a free agent tryout and play for an NBA summer league team. The J-W attempted Saturday to acquire details of the accident from the Officer of the Deputy Commissioner Public Information, but has not received a response.


Freddie Garza 5 years, 12 months ago

That's crazy! Glad you're alright, Brannen.

Shane Garrett 5 years, 11 months ago

Glad you are okay Brannen. Great things must be in your future.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't believe in coincidences. I think you were saved for a reason. Brannen. Make the most of this second chance. I am sure all of Jayhawk Nation is happy for you.

Harlan Hobbs 5 years, 11 months ago

Yes, Tony. More poignant than I anything I could say.

Also, kudos to the policeman who attended to him and gave him a ride. He mirrors all of the law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day and the overwhelmingly vast majority who are outstanding and gracious as well.

Marius Rowlanski 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't know much about coincidence/karma/destiny but it was obviously your lucky day. Take advantage of it and do big things with your life whether or not you wind up in the NBA.

Janet Olin 5 years, 11 months ago

This story is beyond scary. Hope Brannen uses this as motivation to give his best and put the pedal to the metal.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow, what an incredible story. What a difference five seconds can make.

Glad you're all right, Brannen.

Jay Scott 5 years, 11 months ago

Now the fun part with insurance. Is the car insured as a taxi? Most Uber/Lyft drivers carry no additional coverage to protect their car or their passengers when acting as a cab service.

Mike Riches 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow, what a miracle. An experience like that can be life changing.

Armen Kurdian 5 years, 11 months ago

I've been in a bad car accident...there are those few seconds you don't know whether you are going to live or die. SO glad it was the former for BG.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 11 months ago

Wow, and I thought I had it bad when my transmission died en route to West Plains, MO this weekend...

Bryce Landon 5 years, 11 months ago

I don't know about firing him, but I might sue him. I had him do work on my car before I made the trip for the express purpose of preventing that from happening.

Ryan Zimmerman 5 years, 11 months ago

Driving in NY is like a whole new world out there... Taxi drivers are probably the worst and most reckless of any around. I often wonder when I'm in Manhattan and there are sirens how long it takes them to get from point A to point B. It's so congested and when it's not, cabs are flying in and out. Glad Greene was lucky to be alive after what seems to be quite a scary ordeal

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