Cyclist dies after North Berkeley crash with car

Kurt Wehner. Photo: Facebook
Kurt Wehner. Photo: Facebook

Local cyclist Kurt Wehner died Monday after being involved in a crash with a vehicle in North Berkeley on Sunday morning.

Berkeley resident Wehner, 62, died Monday at Highland Hospital in Oakland at 4 p.m., according to the Alameda County coroner’s office. No cause of death has been listed, pending an autopsy that will likely be performed Tuesday.

Writing on Facebook on Monday evening, John Lutterman of Anchorage, Alaska, identified Wehner as his cousin. Lutterman said Wehner had been disconnected from life support Monday and had died.

“Kurt, and his brother Todd, turned me on to serious biking when I was a kid,” he wrote. “I’ll miss Kurt’s endlessly good-natured Heyoka spirit. Reliving many poignant, but also lots of crazy and funny memories of Kurt tonight.”


Police have not released Wehner’s name, and the watch commander on duty early Tuesday morning said he had not been told the cyclist had died.

According to police, the cyclist was critically injured Sunday at 8:15 a.m. when he and a vehicle collided on Spruce Street near Eunice Street.

The Fatal Accident Investigation Team was quickly called to the scene due to the severity of the cyclist’s injuries.

Image: Google Maps
Image: Google Maps

According to police scanner recordings reviewed by Berkeleyside, someone was performing CPR on Wehner as police arrived on the scene. He was taken to Highland Hospital for treatment but did not recover.

Police identified the involved driver only as a 63-year-old Berkeley resident who has cooperated with the investigation.


Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said in a prepared statement Monday that traffic investigators are actively working the case, following up on leads and examining evidence in relation to the collision.

“We will not be releasing a preliminary cause for the collision today,” she wrote Monday. “I will be speaking with investigators tomorrow and hopefully have more information for you then.” (Update, 3:20 p.m.: Coats said the primary cause of the collision might be available Wednesday.)

According to scanner recordings, police called for a phlebotomist to perform a blood draw after the driver was taken to the station. (Update, 4:40 p.m. Coats said via email that, “In the case of major injury collisions or [a] fatal collision, it is not uncommon for us to ask for a blood draw to further our investigations. However, we do not ask for blood draws on every injury collision. If there is a question of sobriety by either party involved, we would conduct an investigation into that aspect, which could potentially include a blood draw.”)

The driver’s black Volkswagen was towed from the scene. At least one person witnessed the crash, according to the recordings.

Berkeleyside has requested additional information from police and will update this story if it is provided.


Little information was publicly available about Wehner online. On his Facebook page, he listed among his interests the bands Pink Floyd and Parliament, as well as the 1963 adventure movie “The Great Escape.”

Related:
Berkeley police rule cyclist responsible for fatal crash (10.15.14)
Bicyclist suffers life-threatening injuries after colliding with car (09.21.14)
Richmond man dies after Berkeley motorcycle crash (09.18.14)
7-year-old cyclist in serious condition after traffic accident in Berkeley (06.16.14)

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