Car strikes and kills 98-year-old pedestrian in Berkeley

Joseph Luft
Joseph Luft, who died Friday after being struck by a car in Berkeley. Photo: Courtesy of family

A 98-year-old man was struck by a car Friday afternoon while crossing the intersection of Bancroft Way and Sacramento Street. He later died of his injuries.

Berkeley police said the man was struck around 12:23 p.m.

He was conscious and talking when police arrived, but he died at the hospital around 6 p.m., according to Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats.

The Alameda County coroner’s office identified him as Joseph Luft of Berkeley.


The driver is cooperating with police, Coats said in a press release. It does not appear that drugs or alcohol were factors in the collision, she said.

Luft, a psychologist, was the creator of the Johari Window, a technique he and Harry Ingrahm invented in 1955 to help people better understand their relationship with others. He taught at San Francisco State University for more than 20 years.

The Luft family released a statement Saturday stating that Joseph Luft was a World War II veteran, “a proud father of four and beloved local figure,” who had taken a daily walk for more than 50 years.

Joseph Luft was struck by a car while crossing the intersection of Bancroft Way and Sacramento Street in Berkeley. Image: Google Maps
Joseph Luft was struck by a car while crossing the intersection of Bancroft Way and Sacramento Street in Berkeley. Image: Google Maps

“While his death was sudden, he died doing what he loved,” said daughter Rachel Luft, adding that her father turned 98 on Wednesday. “We do not yet know the details of what happened, but our hearts go out to the driver of the car and his family during this difficult time.”

Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to call the Traffic Bureau at 510-981-5980 or the non-emergency line at 510-981-5900. Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous can call Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).


This story was updated as new information became available.

Related:
Driver strikes 3 blind pedestrians and flees (10.25.13)
Pedestrian hospitalized after car crash in Berkeley (09.26.13)
$15,000 reward offered after pedestrian hit-and-run death (07.23.13)
Sign added near site of fatal Berkeley hit-and-run (07.17.13)
Berkeley hit-and-run raises concerns for safety (07.15.13)
Hit-and-run kills pedestrian on Berkeley overpass (07.15.13)
Pedestrian in critical condition after auto accident (05.07.13)

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