Purify's girlfriend killed in crash BY BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON / Lincoln Journal Star Tuesday, Oct 02, 2007 - 08:33:08 am CDT Another tragedy has befallen Husker football player Maurice Purify. The senior receiver’s girlfriend, Reia Shapiro, died in a weekend automobile accident in the Los Angeles area, Purify said Monday. Shapiro was 20. Purify said the two had dated on and off for several years. She was a graduate of South Fork High School in Miranda, Calif., about 55 miles from Purify’s hometown of Eureka. According to the Pasadena City College Web site, the one-car accident occurred Saturday morning. Shapiro reportedly lost control of her vehicle on the 210 Freeway in Pasadena. No one else was injured. Shapiro’s father, Robert, owned a restaurant, and she had five siblings. She also was a good basketball player. Shapiro played for Pasadena City College last season and, according to the Web site, was hopeful of playing for the team again. Purify said he didn’t yet know his status for this week’s game against Missouri. “I don’t know if I’m going to go back home or not,” he said. It has been a tragedy-filled couple of months for Purify. After coming back from some offseason issues to earn his teammates’ and coaches’ respect, his brother Ronald Spears was shot and killed on Aug. 22 at the age of 29. Spears was killed when a stranger he was giving a ride to reportedly pulled a gun on him and demanded money. Spears tried to knock the gun away and run from the car, but was shot in the back. “Hopefully, he’s with me and will help me make those plays I wouldn’t be able to make,” Purify said after the shooting. Purify is second on the team this year in receptions, with 19 catches for 268 yards. A fan favorite for his big-play capabilities, he leapt high in the air to catch the game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds of last year’s game at Texas A&M. He followed that this year with another game-winning catch, scoring a touchdown in the late minutes of a comeback victory against Ball State.