21-year-old arrested in felony hit-and-run car wreck

A mangled Corvette involved in an early morning accident on Tunnel Road in Berkeley. Photo:   Jacquelyn McCormick7:08 AM (3 minutes ago)
A mangled Corvette that was involved in an early morning accident on Tunnel Road in Berkeley. Photo: Jacquelyn McCormick

Update: 4:22 p.m. The driver of the smashed Corvette is Anthony Edward Torpey, 21, of Dublin, Castro Valley, according to Officer Jenn Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman. He was arrested at 3:52 a.m. and was taken to Berkeley Jail, where he is being held on $91,200 bail, according to police records. In addition to being held on a DUI charge and a felony hit-and-run charge, he was arrested on suspicion of driving with a suspended license.

The 24-year-old passenger is in critical condition, said Coats.

Torpey was previously arrested in December 2012 after a crash in Dublin, according to police records.

According to Torpey’s Facebook page, the Corvette appears to be his. In a photo of the car posted on June 11, he wrote “hard work pays off” as well as “My Main Girl.”


Update, 11:37 a.m.: Tunnel Road is now open in all directions, according to Berkeley Police. The investigation into the crash continues.

Update: 7:45 a.m. The Berkeley Police Department arrested the driver of the Corvette, a 21-year-old man, on suspicion of felony hit and run, driving under the influence and other charges, according to Officer Jennifer Coats, department spokeswoman.

The driver, whose name has not been released, fled the scene of the 2:22 a.m. accident on Tunnel, leaving his seriously injured passenger, a 24-year-old male, behind in the car, according to Coats, Berkeley police later found and arrested the driver.

The passenger “sustained significant injuries” during the collision.

Photo: Jacquelyn McCormick
Photo: Jacquelyn McCormick

The eastbound direction of Tunnel Road will remain closed for another few hours, said Coats.

Update: 7:08 a.m. Tunnel Road is open in the westbound direction but remains closed in the eastbound direction.

Original story: Berkeley Police advise motorists to avoid Tunnel Road near Alvarado and The Uplands in Berkeley this morning. There was a serious solo car accident around 2:22 a.m. that shut the road in both directions. An occupant was seriously injured, according to a Nixle alert issued by the police.

According to KTVU news, a Corvette crashed and the driver left the scene. Police arrived to find one seriously injured passenger. Police later located the driver and are investigating to see whether excessive speed or alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Photo: Daryl Austern
Photo: Daryl Austern

The police alert said: “The passenger in the vehicle sustained significant injuries and was transported by the Berkeley Fire Department to a local hospital for treatment. Due to the seriousness of the passenger’s injuries  BPD’s Fatal Accident Investigation Team (FAIT) has been called in to handle the investigation.”

At least one TV news helicopter was over the crash scene for about 30 minutes at around 7 a.m Friday morning.

AC Transit is temporarily relocating a stop for the E-line bus because of the accident.

Berkeleyside will update this story when we gather new information.

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