Car driven into 85 Degrees café in downtown Berkeley, minor injuries

The Camry that was driven into the side of 85 Degrees Bakery Café, at 21 Shattuck Sq., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Photo: Lance Knobel

A car leaped the median on University Avenue, crashing into 85 Degrees Bakery Café, following a collision shortly after 10 a.m. this morning in downtown Berkeley. The black Toyota Camry, driven by a young woman with her two children in the car, was heading west on University when it was hit by a car turning left from Shattuck. Only minor injuries were reported, according to emergency responders on the scene.

Keerthik Omanakuttan was sitting in the café, right at the window where the Camry plowed into the building.

“I saw two pedestrians outside bolt all of a sudden,” Omanakuttan, who works in a start-up in Berkeley, said. “All the recent news about cars aiming for pedestrians flashed through my mind. I jumped out of the way.”

Omanakuttan escaped with just a few scratches on his hands and glass in his hair and on his clothes.


Inside the 85 Degrees Bakery in downtown Berkeley following the incident on Tuesday, June 20, around 10 a.m.. Photo: Paul Kealoha-Blake
Police on scene at 21 Shattuck Sq. on Tuesday June 20, 2017. Photo: Paul Kealoha-Blake

The collision shattered one of the café’s large windows and brought down its aluminum frame, causing shattered glass to be strewn across the interior of the café. The street level, low-height tiled wall supporting the window was also destroyed.

The woman who was driving the Camry was sitting with her two young sons by the side of the café following the accident. She and her children were not hurt, but were shaken by the accident. She declined to give her name or to talk about the accident.

Suzanne Frew, who works in disaster management and is trained in first aid, was across University Avenue from the café when the collision happened.

“I heard a screech and then saw a black car jump the median,” Frew said.

The incident shut down eastbound University east of Shattuck to traffic for a short while while emergency crews responded to the scene. It also prompted two helicopters to fly to the scene which had many people turn to Twitter to ask Berkeleyside what was going on.


The café closed while crews responded to the incident, and has remained closed since.

85 Degrees Bakery, part of a chain founded in Taiwan, is at 21 Shattuck Sq. on the corner of University. It opened in 2014 and serves coffee, smoothies, cakes and pastries. It is popular with UC Berkeley students, among others.

By approximately 11:30 a.m. crews were at work tidying up the debris and traffic was back to normal.

The collision brought down the tiled wall supporting the window, as well as the window frame. Photo: Lance Knobel
Crews tidy up debris after the incident that saw a car smash into 85 Degree Bakery in downtown Berkeley on June 20. Photo: Paul Erickson

Berkeleyside has asked Berkeley Police for more details and will update this story if necessary.

Additional reporting by Tracey Taylor.