Teenage skateboarder seriously injured by car

Update, 10:30 am: Berkeley police report that the injured skateboarder is an 18-year old man who is in “grave condition.” Since he is an adult, he is not required to wear a helmet while skateboarding. Berkeley police are still investigating to determine who is at fault in the accident, the driver or the skateboarder, according to Sgt. Mary Kusmiss. The victim’s name will not be released for privacy reasons.

Update, 5:01 pm The driver of the car was a 54-year old Berkeley man who was driving east on Marin and turned northbound onto Tulare, according to police. The skateboarder, who is also from Berkeley, was traveling westbound on Marin when the two collided. Alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the 7:05 pm accident, said Sgt. Kusmiss.

Original story: Berkeley police rushed to the intersection of Marin and Tulare Avenues Monday night to assist a skateboarder who had been hit by a car.

Berkeley Police Lt. Randolph Files could not release many details of the accident Monday night, but confirmed there had been a collision and officers were on the scene. The victim had been transported to the emergency room, he said.

“Skateboarder hit by car just a few minutes ago on Marin Ave and Tulare,” a reader wrote Berkeleyside at 7:16 pm. “It must have just happened before I came by. 911 was being called. The skateboard was still stuck under the car wheel. The person injured looked like a teenager, male, dressed in a dark jacket and dark pants. Luckily the fire truck was so close by and arrived quickly from the station. That’s all I know. Terrible. The kid wasn’t moving.”

“FYI — bad accident occurred on Marin Ave tonight,” another reader said in an email to Berkeleyside. “Looks like Prius hit a skateboarder. I drove by around 8pm. And police were everywhere. Looked bad :((”

Matthew Winkelstein, a Berkeley architect, came upon the accident on his way to the grocery store, he told Albany Patch. He described the victim as a young male, around 13 to 15. He was bleeding profusely from the head, breathing but unresponsive.

“I tried to help him, holding his arm and saying, ‘You’re going to be OK,'” said Winkelstein. “He seemed to be fading more than coming around.”

The Prius’ windshield was cracked from the impact, Winkelstein told Patch.

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  • BerkeleyMom

    I am so concerned for this kid. My son and I were the ones who saw this last night and reported in. The kid had no helmet on. We hope for a recovery. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UTAORC2LANQF2ONEFJYXBSITTA bingo

    This is obviously a tragedy, but I’m surprised that I don’t read about more of these in Berkeleyside.  I bike and skateboard, but it’s always with a helmet and bright/reflective gear on.  When I’m out driving, I’m shocked by the numbers of street travelers clad all in black with no lights and helmets.

  • Paul Rauber

    Riding my bike up Tunnel last week, I nearly ran into three skateboarders–all without helmets–drifting into my lane on a blind corner. Hope this kid pulls through.

  • Dmruotolo

    I drove by the scene at 8pm and saw the skateboard
    Under the wheel. So sad for all concerned.
    Reflective gear, lights, helmets are so important.
    I see too many bicyclists, walkers and skateboarders
    Not using these simple safety devices when
    On the road day or night. Please people, think about
    This!

  • Fedupwithentitlement

    i’ve seen these kids skating up and down marin and solano avenues at all hours weaving in and out of traffic.  i’m amazed it doesn’t happen more often.  particularly given the attitude pedestrians, cyclists and skateboarders have in the east bay; since they are not in a car and therefore have the right of way technically that legislation will somehow trump physics.  teach your kids to look both ways before they cross and have some common sense and this will be a much, much rarer occurrence.

  • Heather

    No helmet. What a waste.

  • Jane

    Very concerned about his well-being. Thoughts are with family of young man and the driver. Every parent’s AND driver’s worst nightmare. Kids who have never driven a car have no concept of the distance to stop or the visibility limitations. They may be vaguely aware of pedestrian laws, and think these apply to them. Not if they are breezing down the sidewalk into the intersection at speed where they are not visible to drivers turning when making the approach. Even if he had stopped to cross, no “right of way” trumps the physics of a moving hunk of steel coming towards you. Hope he recovers.

  • Iceland_1622

    What *might* be helpful ( just possibly and I am not fully sure ) would be to have a specially well designed ( think graphic artists here now ) yellow stencil matrix to permanently mark the street at such collision points that end in such dreadful fatality.  This may or may not have the power to induce a sense ‘community memory’ and reality long after this story fades from the front page of our lives and psyches.  I have watched all of the guilty parties involved drive, skate. bicycle and gun their cars in the hills as well as the flats here, day and night in an arrogant entitled ( screw you ) oblivion.  Too many people packed into to too small a place and all with private and separate agendas.  Not even traffic tickets would stop such madness. Be a start though…….     

  • GC

    So many comments about the helmet, but nobody talking about a lack of bike lanes or car-free streets in our town?  My heart goes out to the family, and hoping for a full recovery.

  • Andrew

    If only most of us could commute to work car-free and get home around the time of the accident without a car in time for dinner with our families. Can you? You can? Good for you. Most of us have to do what we can to make ends meet. 

    I have seen dudes cruising down Marin on skateboards in the dark without helmets at high speeds. Blind to the world around them. Sure, cool and quite a high. But cars or not, use the noggin given to you, and consider the circumstances as they exist today and not in some imagined perfect world. 

  • Mojomyown

    Unfortunately, just learned he did not survive this tragic accident. All our deepest and sincere condolences are extended from the local F.O.E. to the loved family and friends.

  • hg

    Marin has large bike lanes, but bikes and skateboarders need to make sure they are visible and not assume they always have the right of way. I see skate boarders going down hill on Eunice lying on their stomachs, head first without helmets. Sometimes skateboarders or bikes ride on the wrong side of the street and are even harder to see.

  • Madera mom

    I am so sorry to hear that this young man didn’t survive. These crosswalks which are not at the lights on Marin are so dangerous- isn’t this the 3rd fatal accident in the last couple of years? Wearing dark clothes after dusk and misjudging the speed of cars- possibly the car not having a turn signal on, all could have contributed. I live off Tulare and when I cross here, I am always wary, and tend to want to run across Marin. As a driver, I also know how hard it is to see bikers, skaters and pedestrians in the dark off to the side, with the oncoming car lights in your eyes.

  • soberkrez

    I’m very sorry for both the driver and the skateboarder. I will say I found the uniformity of the responses to this article striking. I counted ~10/13 comments that implicitly judge the victim of this accident by way of reference to the lack of a helmet and/or reflective gear and just one that mentions the possibility that negligence on the part of the driver may have played a role (not counting the comment about bike lanes which was appropriately rebutted in a response). Hard to know what really happened, but both reflective gear and extra caution by drivers on these short winter days would seem advisable.

  • Sadtosay

    If the skateboarder was westbound on Marin, he was IN the roadway, not crossing at a crosswalk.  A skateboard is not a vehicle and should not be travelling in the roadway.  I’m sorry for the loss of life and I’m also sorry for the driver who did not expect a skateboarder to be in the roadway.  No lights, no reflective clothing, no way the driver would know he was there.

  • punaise

    so sad for all involved.

  • Fedupwithentitlement

    not hard to know what happened at all.  fortunately it generally happens without tragedy, but in the east bay, where there are well marked crosswalks/stop signs/bike lanes/special bike routes everywhere, people have come to expect to be looked out for rather than use a little common sense (and courtesy!) and be aware of their surroundings when not in a car.  the burden is on the driver completely, and the answer is always more signs, more crosswalks, more distractions and blocks to smooth traffic.  it’s easier to get around in a crowded city like san francisco or los angeles than berkeley as a result.  poor responses to a lack of personal accountability if you ask me.

  • http://berkeleyside.com Tracey Taylor

    Please note that, at the time of writing, the skateboarder, who has been named by other media and on social networks as 18-year old Tyler De Martini, has NOT died.

  • M Atkins

    That’s because the police, who were on the scene, DID investigate and DID NOT arrest (or even cite) the driver.

  • Guest

    Sad that people are so quick to blame victims for what they wear instead of recognizing how, in this case, it would not have made a difference.  I suppose that is because helmets are very profitable whereas training, traffic engineering, and tickets to speeding drivers all cost money.  Neither helmets nor speeding drivers were a factor in this accident.

    Helmets are a great way for motorists to deflect the blame for their own unsafe driving.  It is disappointing that they are so often used as a scapegoat, in this case obscuring the actual reasons for this tragedy: the skateboarder’s behavior, street lighting and insufficient traffic calming.