A University of Minnesota student is in critical condition after being involved in an accident near campus last week.
Around 11 a.m. on Thursday, senior Robert Cook was hit by an SUV while biking near Southeast Huron Boulevard and Fulton Street Southeast. Cook was transported to the Hennepin County Medical Center where he is being treated for injuries to multiple vertebrae, according to his GoFundMe page.
Cook's family and loved ones are raising money for his medical expenses, and have collected over $10,000 of their $25,000 goal in four days.
Nate Meshesha, a University senior who has known Cook since middle school, said he is currently unable to speak but can communicate using eye movement.
Cook studies kinesiology in the College of Education and Human Development and is an active member of the campus community. He serves as the vice president of the Black Student Union, president of the Pi Eta chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and is a leader in the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence. He turned 21 last month.
"He’s fantastic and he has a big heart," said senior Alexis Murillo, Cook's friend and co-worker at MCAE. "We're going to... make sure everyone knows his story, especially these incoming students, and that all the work he put in does not go unnoticed."
Friends of Cook's say that he is a role model.
"He's just been constantly trying to get involved as possible, that was one of the things that he set out to do when he got to college. It's a huge motivation for me and a lot of people to grow as leaders on campus," Meshesha said.
Others say that they hope to support him through his recovery.
"...During this time as we are experiencing him in pain, my goal is to continue to fill him and his spirit with laughter and joy through memories we share," said friend Demetria Poe in a statement.
This is a breaking news story. More information will be added as it becomes available.