Tag Archives: Berkeley traffic accident

Crime

After DUI hit-and-run, threats, man set to enter plea

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A man described by police as a DUI driver with a suspended license who crashed into another vehicle in Berkeley and threatened to kill a witness is set to enter a plea next week in Alameda County Superior Court, according to court papers.

The crash took place in August, and Jose Paz-Leja, 25, was charged at that time with multiple felonies. He is set to enter a plea in the case Nov. 30, and has been released on $190,000 bail.

According to court papers, a Berkeley police officer was dispatched to a hit-and-run crash Aug. 13 at Bancroft Way and Acton Street. Dispatchers said the driver of a blue Ford pick-up truck had fled the scene, and run south on Edwards Street.

“A witness to the collision attempted to detain Paz-Leja, who threatened to kill the witness if he was followed. One of the involved parties had a laceration to her hand and complained of severe chest pain as a result of being struck by an airbag,” according to court papers.

Police said the truck smelled of marijuana and alcohol, and were able to use its registration and other information related to the investigation to identify the driver as Paz-Leja. The truck was registered to his Berkeley address on Alcatraz Avenue. … Continue reading »

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Police

Berkeley crash sends cyclist to Highland

Photo: Citizen reporter
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Update, Nov. 15, 1:56 p.m. BFD has confirmed that a male cyclist who was not wearing a helmet was struck by a car Monday night. He “had a possible significant injury,” authorities said. The Berkeley Fire Department took him to the hospital.

BPD said the cyclist “was conscious and alert” after the crash. Berkeleyside will attempt to learn more.

Original post, Nov. 14, 8:47 p.m. Berkeleyside is getting reports of a crash involving a cyclist and vehicle shortly after 8 p.m. at University and McGee avenues in central Berkeley.

“One victim, presumably the bicyclist, on way to hospital. Don’t know how serious. I was just nearby when sirens filled the air,” one reader told Berkeleyside at 8:10 p.m.

The cyclist was reportedly taken to Highland Hospital.

Another reader said the crash took place on westbound University just east of McGee. … Continue reading »

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Police

Serious crash injures 5 in North Berkeley

A car crash injured five people in North Berkeley on Thursday. Photo: BFD
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Five people were taken to Highland Hospital on Thursday after a crash involving two or three vehicles in North Berkeley, authorities report.

According to Berkeley Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Frankel, one vehicle hit the other and pushed it into a tree. Two vehicles are being towed from the scene, he said.

The crash took place at Marin and Shattuck avenues shortly before 12:20 p.m.

Frankel said four ambulances were dispatched and two people were taken to Highland Hospital, the regional trauma center in Oakland, according to preliminary reports.

Deputy Fire Chief Donna McCracken said the crash involved three vehicles, and that five people were taken to Highland. … Continue reading »

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Police

Crash in West Berkeley causes moderate injuries to 3

Car crash. Photo: BPD
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A car crash in West Berkeley on Saturday morning caused moderate injuries for three motorists, authorities report.

The Berkeley Police Department said two vehicles were involved in the crash, which took place at San Pablo Avenue and Addison Street shortly before 8:40 a.m.

BPD and the Berkeley Fire Department responded.

One of the vehicles went into a building, said Lt. Andrew Rateaver, BPD watch commander, and caused minor damage.

All three of the injured parties were taken to the hospital for treatment.  … Continue reading »

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After crash, Berkeley fifth-grader rides to school in style

Lillia Bartlow points to the fire engine arriving at her house to escort her to school on Tuesday Aug. 30. Photo: Kelly Sullivan
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Lillia Bartlow got to ride in style to her first day of fifth grade at John Muir Elementary School on Tuesday.

The 9-year-old, who was hit by a taxi in March while on a Claremont Avenue crosswalk with her mother after a PTA meeting at school, rode in a shiny red fire truck, courtesy of Engine Company 3 of the Berkeley Fire Department.

The unusual trip was arranged by the Berkeley Firefighters Random Acts of Kindness program, which also provided a pool membership at the YMCA this summer for Lillia and her mother, Khadija Bartlow.

See a photo slideshow of this morning’s BFD escort below.

Lillia said she was excited about the ride Tuesday morning as she waited for the fire engine to arrive. Before the engine pulled up in front of her family’s Ashby Avenue apartment, Lillie was dancing around, a huge smile on her face.

That was a huge difference from her homecoming from the hospital in March. The taxi that hit Lillia on March 8 broke both her legs. Rods were placed in her femurs and she had to use a wheelchair to get around, said her father, Darryl Bartlow. Her family at first feared Lillia would have to use a wheelchair for a year, but the girl, who loves gymnastics, was able to walk by June.
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1 taken to hospital after crash at Ashby, MLK

Authorities are responding to South Berkeley for a traffic collision. Photo: BPD
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Police asked motorists to avoid the area around Ashby Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in South Berkeley after a traffic collision Sunday morning that sent one person to the hospital.

Roads were closed and the Berkeley Fire Department was on scene attending to the injured, said Lt. Andrew Rateaver of the Berkeley Police Department. … Continue reading »

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City of Berkeley fined nearly $100K after longtime worker ‘fatally crushed’ by garbage truck

Johnny Tolliver, who worked for Berkeley's Zero Waste division, died Monday after he was hit by a city garbage truck. Photo: Tolliver family
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A state agency has fined the city of Berkeley nearly $100,000 after a worker was crushed by his garbage truck in the Berkeley Hills in January, according to a recently concluded report obtained by Berkeleyside on Tuesday.

Johnny Tolliver Sr., 52, was working as part of a two-person team collecting trash when their truck lost its brakes and rolled, pinning Tolliver against a utility pole in January, according to preliminary reports. Although Tolliver was conscious and talking at the scene, at 90 Parnassus Road, he died later that day at Highland Hospital of his injuries. He had worked for the city for more than 25 years.

Scroll down to see the city response.

Tolliver was “fatally crushed” as he tried to stop his truck from rolling down the hill on Parnassus, according to the June report from the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA.

The agency, which is charged with investigating workplace safety issues and on-the-job fatalities, found the city responsible for three accident-related penalties categorized as “serious.” Each carries a fine of $22,500. Three other general penalties categorized as “serious” carry fines of more than $8,400 each, and a fourth serious violation has a listed fine of more than $5,000, according to the June 22 report. … Continue reading »

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‘Severe traffic alert’ in the East Bay due to tractor trailer fire, fuel spill

Truck fire. Photo: Mordiceius
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Traffic through Berkeley is snarled on the highway after a tractor trailer caught fire and spilled fuel on Interstate 880 near I-580, authorities report.

Circulation in that area — northbound I-880 to eastbound I-80 — is limited, and authorities have advised motorists to use alternate routes, according to 511 Bay Area.

“On Friday, July 8th, at 1:08pm, a Severe Traffic Alert is in effect on the northbound I-880 ramp to eastbound I-80 due to a tractor trailer fire and fuel spill. The on-ramp is closed. Motorists are advised to expect delays and avoid the area. There is no estimated time to reopen the roadway,” according to 511. … Continue reading »

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Police

Man taken to Highland after fall into moving vehicle

Police responded to a traffic incident Monday at San Pablo and Cedar after a man in the median fell into a city-owned vehicle as it passed him. Image: Google Maps
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A man standing on a West Berkeley median fell into a city-owned vehicle in the roadway and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries Monday, authorities said.

The man was standing on the center divider on San Pablo Avenue near Cedar Street when he fell, said Sgt. Andrew Frankel of the Berkeley Police Department, “striking a city vehicle that was passing.” (Update: A witness at the scene said the man appeared to be a panhandler.)

The man’s injuries appeared serious and he was taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland with an apparent head injury at about 1:30 p.m.

A local business owner said he saw lots of police in the area in front of pet supply store Animal Farm, as well as a crime scene investigation van, around 2:30 p.m.

Not sure if it was serious, but certainly looked it,” he said. “I came back around 4:45 and it was back to normal.”Continue reading »

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2 stabbed, 1 sought after dispute at Berkeley park

A police officer responding to the stabbing at the park crashed into a vehicle at University and Acton, police said. Photo: Daniel McPartlan
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Scroll to the bottom of this story for a July 12 clarification from BPD about how the crash pictured above came to pass. 

Two people were sent to the hospital Saturday after a stabbing at a Berkeley park next to the popular downtown farmers market.

One man was stabbed in the chest, and received injuries that appeared potentially life threatening, and another had a cut to the arm.

One local resident asked Berkeleyside to find out what had taken place after she saw “multiple police cars, yellow crime scene tape everywhere and … someone loaded into an ambulance” at the park. Others noted the increased police presence and wanted to know more.Continue reading »

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Berkeley preview sheds new light on Gilman roundabouts

Members of the public got a look Wednesday night at plans to build two roundabouts at Gilman and Interstate 80. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Early plans to build two large roundabouts at Interstate 80 and Gilman Street in Berkeley were on display for the public Wednesday night at the North Berkeley Senior Center.

The project — with an estimated $24 million construction cost — is slated to be complete in 2022, a representative told the dozens of attendees who perused information stations set up around the room.

“This is an area that has a lot of concerns with it,” David Early, principal at Berkeley-based community planning firm Placeworks, told the crowd. “It’s quite a ‘wild west’ kind of scene.”

Scroll down to see a simulation of the proposed circulation.

By the numbers, the problem is stark. Crash data presented Wednesday, from 2011-2013, showed significantly higher than average numbers of injury or fatal collisions, particularly on the north side of Gilman. On the west side off-ramp, those numbers were 80% higher than the state average. On the east side on-ramp, they were a whopping 177% above the state average.

South of the freeway, they were about 30% above the state average at both the on- and off-ramps.

The project involves the two roundabouts on either side of I-80, new sidewalks under the freeway, and a pedestrian and bike bridge similar to the one at Aquatic Park. Perhaps the most controversial elements of the project — in addition to the roundabouts themselves — are the location of the bike bridge, which makes a fairly large detour south before bringing users back up to Gilman, as well as plans to cut off access from Gilman to the frontage road on the east side of the freeway.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Suspected DUI motorist crashes into Berkeley marina

Car into Berkeley Marina. Photo: Nancy Schimmelman
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Authorities worked to beat the tide Sunday to remove a vehicle that crashed Saturday night into the Berkeley Marina and began leaking fluids into the water.

Berkeley Police Lt. Andrew Rateaver said crews responded to the marina after a vehicle left the roadway, where University Avenue and Marina Boulevard split, shortly before midnight.

Scroll down for updates and dramatic photos.

Officers threw emergency flotation devices into the water to help the driver, a passenger and a citizen responder get off the fully submerged vehicle, he said.

All three were taken to the hospital for treatment but were expected to survive. … Continue reading »

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Father of girl struck by car calls for better traffic control

Oski, the mascot of UC Berkeley, paid a visit to Lillia Bartlow this week. Photo: Bartlow family
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The father of a 9-year-old girl struck by a taxi in a crosswalk last week was among a small contingent of parents and administrators from John Muir Elementary School who asked the Berkeley City Council for pedestrian safety improvements in the area Tuesday.

Darryl Bartlow, whose daughter Lillia was hit March 8 while crossing Claremont Avenue with her mother after they attended an evening PTA meeting at the school, described a devastating week softened by “a great outpouring of love and concern” from the community. Both Lillia’s legs were broken and she may need to be in a wheelchair for up to a year, Bartlow said. It is unclear when she will be able to return to John Muir, where she is a fourth-grade student. She is home from the hospital.

Bartlow is a longtime Berkeley resident and graduate of Berkeley public schools. He worked for the Alameda County Probation Department for 30 years and now sits on the city’s Personnel Board. At the council meeting, he asked council members to install traffic lights at the crosswalk where Lillia was hit, which is directly in front of the elementary school, on Claremont Avenue at Claremont Crescent. … Continue reading »

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