UC Berkeley student ID’d as Southside fatality, died from head trauma

Apoorve Agarwal. Photo: Apoorve Agarwal/Facebook
Apoorve Agarwal. Photo: Apoorve Agarwal/Facebook

Update, May 6, 2015: According to the Alameda County coroner’s office, Apoorve Agarwal “was found to have very high levels of ethyl alcohol in his system and appeared to have lost his balance and fell down the brick staircase. The result of the fall caused a significant injury to his brain, which ultimately caused his death.” At the time of his death, Agarwal’s blood alcohol content was .31, which can be fatal. His cause of death was listed as contrecoup contusions of the brain due to blunt trauma to the head.

Original story, Dec. 22, 2014: The young man who died Saturday in Berkeley’s Southside neighborhood was a 20-year-old junior from San Ramon who was pursuing a double major in applied mathematics and economics at UC Berkeley, according to biographical information posted online.

The Berkeley Police Department said officers found the young man’s body just after 4 a.m. Saturday in the 2500 block of Piedmont Avenue, between Dwight Way and Parker Street.

The Alameda County coroner’s office identified the man Monday as Apoorve Agarwal.


“At this time, it does not appear foul play was involved and alcohol may have been a factor,” police said in a prepared statement Saturday.

According to scanner audio recordings reviewed by Berkeleyside, first responders were called to the scene for a report of an unresponsive man who had fallen down the stairs. Prior to their arrival, the man was not breathing, but CPR was performed by someone nearby.

Berkeley police and firefighters arrived within minutes and found Agarwal deceased just outside his home, authorities said.

Agarwal’s cause of death was listed by the coroner’s office as contrecoup contusions of the brain and blunt trauma to the head. An autopsy was performed Monday.

The Tri-City Cremation & Funeral Service in Newark will handle funeral services for the family, according to the coroner’s office.


Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman, said Monday by email that, “At this point, the circumstances surrounding the death are consistent with … accidental causes.”

Police have not said whether alcohol was determined conclusively to have been a factor in Agarwal’s death, and toxicology screening results can take weeks or months before they are available.

According to a short biography posted on the website for the Law in Practice student organization at UC Berkeley, Agarwal was a general officer for the group: “He previously interned at Advance Micro Devices and Northwestern Mutual as a finance intern. Apoorve has always had an inclination towards the field of law, particularly international and business law. In his free time, Apoorve enjoys traveling, music, and movies.”

Agarwal also completed a one-month externship at Merrill Lynch in San Jose in 2013, and was an internet marketing intern at Krypton Consulting Inc. in Newark for five months in 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Agarwal graduated from Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon in 2012, according to online reports.


The 2500 block of Piedmont Avenue is in the heart of UC Berkeley’s fraternity and sorority residential area. Police who responded to the scene Saturday canvassed the area for witnesses, including at at least one fraternity, according to scanner audio recordings.

In November, police responded to a non-affiliated fraternity four blocks from Agarwal’s home after residents there found another 20-year-old man, Vaibhev Lumba, dead following a large party at the frat house. A witness told police there was vomit around the UC Davis student’s mouth when his body was discovered. Berkeleyside has requested toxicology results in that case from the coroner’s office.

Related:
20-year-old man found dead in Southside Berkeley (12.20.14)
Man, 20, found dead after party at Berkeley frat house (11.09.14)
Student drinking at Cal taxes Berkeley paramedics (11.12.13)

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