Female pedestrian, 70, dies in crash near UC Berkeley

Police investigate a fatal crash involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, on Channing Way, at Fulton Street, in Berkeley, on Friday, Jan. 12. Photo: David Yee

Update, Jan 13: The Alameda County coroner’s office identified Shelley Rideout, 70, of Berkeley as the woman killed Friday. Rideout was co-author of Berkeley Bohemia: Artists and Visionaries of the Early Twentieth Century. She was also involved with the Berkeley Historical Society. A representative from the Historical Society posted on Berkeleyside that Rideout was “probably on her way to her weekly shift as a volunteer at the History Center. A very kind, gracious, knowledgeable and hard-working person, she was the coordinator of the current exhibit, ‘Soundtrack to the 60s: the Berkeley Music Scene.’ She will be greatly missed.”

Original story: A 70-year-old Berkeley woman has died after a city of Berkeley worker struck her Friday while driving through the intersection of Channing Way at Fulton Street.

The California Highway Patrol, which is handling the case, said the crash was reported at 1:21 p.m. Officer Matthew Hamer, CHP Oakland spokesman, said the driver was traveling 15 mph westbound on Channing in a city vehicle just prior to the crash, having just stopped at Fulton.

Hamer said the driver proceeded through the intersection and struck the pedestrian as she walked northbound in a marked crosswalk. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene by Berkeley firefighters. Her name has not been released.


Hamer said there was large equipment in the intersection for a sewer maintenance project, and that the CHP will investigate whether that might have been a visual obstruction or a contributing factor to the collision.

The city employee remained at the scene and was cooperative. Authorities have declined to release any other details about the driver.

“The city of Berkeley employee was obeying the laws,” Hamer said. “It was an unfortunate accident.”

Police investigate a fatal crash involving a vehicle and a pedestrian, on Channing Way, near Fulton Street, in Berkeley, on Friday, Jan. 12. Photo: David Yee
Passers-by stop to watch police investigate a fatal crash involving a Berkeley city vehicle and a pedestrian, on Channing Way, near Fulton Street on Friday. Photo: David Yee ©2018
A California Highway Patrol officer photographs the scene of a fatal crash involving a Berkeley city vehicle and a pedestrian, on Channing Way, near Fulton Street on Friday. Photo: David Yee

Hamer said the CHP was called to handle the investigation because of its extensive experience and training in that subject area. He said the CHP is called whenever a crash involves a municipality vehicle, whether it’s the city, county or the state.

Hamer said the primary collision factor has not yet been determined, but that speed was not believed to have been a factor. The investigation is ongoing.


City of Berkeley spokesman Matthai Chakko said city staff members are devastated.

“Our thoughts are with the family of the victim,” Chakko said.

This story was updated after publication due to the developing nature of the incident.