Tag Archives: Traffic safety

Hope, gratitude after near-deadly collision in Berkeley

Meg Schwarzman
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The Berkeley scientist and mother who was struck by a motorist and trapped beneath his car while cycling near campus earlier this week is expected to pull through, family members said Thursday.

“She’s critical but stable,” said Mike Wilson of his wife, Megan Schwarzman. “Every indication is that she will be coming home. But it’s going to be a long, difficult recovery.”

Schwarzman, 42, is a research scientist at the Berkeley School of Public Health, as well as a physician and an associate director at the Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry on the Cal campus. The group is one of the leading academic organizations in the nation focused on chemicals policy, Wilson said.

“She somehow is able to be both a brilliant thinker and the most compassionate, spirited person I know,” he said. Added Schwarzman’s sister, Caitlin, who lives in Alameda: “She loves being a part of the community. Her friends and family are always the center for her.”

She wrote on her sister’s Facebook page earlier this week that “the surgeons are optimistic about her long term prognosis.… We expect a stay of many weeks in the hospital. We are hurting for our Meg, feeling proud of her strength, and looking forward hopefully.” … Continue reading »

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Update: Driver arrested, cyclist critical after crash

Emergency personnel work the scene of a collision involving a motorist and a bicyclist on Fulton Street and Bancroft Way. Photo: David Yee
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Update, Feb. 5, 9 a.m. Read Berkeleyside’s update on Meg Schwarzman, the cyclist who was struck. The Berkeley physician and mother is expected to survive, though the road to recovery looks to be long.

Update, Feb. 3, 11 a.m. BPD says there have been no updates to report as far as the cyclist’s condition.

Update, 10:15 p.m. Berkeley police have arrested the driver involved in the crash, 47-year-old Berwick Haynes of Sunnyvale, on suspicion of driving under the influence. In a statement released just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, BPD said it was continuing to investigate the injury collision. The bicyclist, a 42-year-old Berkeley woman, is in critical condition at a local hospital. At 10 p.m. police were still at the scene of the accident taking measurements, and the intersection remained closed.

Update, 6:28 p.m. Police have asked motorists to avoid Fulton and Bancroft due to the earlier crash. Southbound Fulton between Bancroft and Kittredge Street is closed. … Continue reading »

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Police

Car crash causes power outage in southwest Berkeley

The car crash at Ward and San Pablo. Photo: Danielle Madugo
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A car crash downed power lines and caused outages to more than 1,000 people in southwest Berkeley on Thursday night, and police say it appears drugs or alcohol may have been a contributing factor.

Reports began coming into Berkeleyside from readers on Twitter at about 8:40 p.m. Readers said the car crashed at Ward Street and San Pablo Avenue.

One local resident said, after the crash, the vehicle’s sole occupant appeared to stumble out of the sedan and collapse in a neighbor’s yard.

Berkeley Police Lt. Dan Montgomery said the man was naked from the waist down when police took him into custody. The man, who looked to be in his early 20s, was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Police recovered the man’s pants at the scene.

Police believe the driver may have been intoxicated and are treating the crash as a DUI investigation, Montgomery said. He said the car appeared to have been totaled, but that there was “surprisingly little damage” otherwise.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats confirmed just before 9 p.m. that “a vehicle collided with a power pole” causing the outage. The incident is still under investigation.

One reader reported that she received a robocall from PG&E saying that 1,255 people were affected by the outage.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Women charged after Berkeley hit-and-run, cyclist crash

The scene at Ashby Avenue and Stanton Street. Photo: Kester Allen
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Two Oakland women in a stolen car who police say struck a cyclist while fleeing from officers in Berkeley have been charged with four felonies and are set to appear in court next week.

Both women entered not guilty pleas Monday.

According to court papers, 27-year-old Josefina Barajas was driving a stolen Acura when police were dispatched to a suspicious circumstance involving Barajas and another driver in South Berkeley on Nov. 23 at about 8:35 p.m. She was five months pregnant, according to court papers.

Also in the car was 26-year-old Starkeisha Moss.

Police initially responded to Fairview and Adeline streets for the suspicious circumstance call, and Barajas sped off before police could stop her, according to court papers. While attempting to make her getaway, she struck a bicyclist at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Prince Street, causing pelvic and abdominal injuries to him that were described as “moderate/serious.” He was taken to Highland Hospital for treatment. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Driver in stolen vehicle strikes cyclist while fleeing police

The scene at Ashby Avenue and Stanton Street. Photo: Kester Allen
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Berkeley Police officers took two women into custody Monday night after they struck a cyclist with their stolen vehicle while fleeing from police after an earlier traffic collision.

Police first got the call at 8:36 p.m., said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police spokesman.

Initially the call came in about a suspicious circumstance involving a traffic collision between two vehicles that were driving erratically near Adeline and Fairview streets in South Berkeley.

When an officer was arriving to contact those drivers, they fled. One of the vehicles, which at one point drove the wrong way while fleeing police, struck a cyclist at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Prince Street. The crash occurred northbound in the southbound lanes.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeleyside blotter: Crime in Berkeley, Oct. 22-28

Selected calls to the Berkeley Police, via CrimeMapping.com. Scroll down for detailed maps. Click the map above for the list. See the map key here.
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This overview of recent crime in Berkeley is based on reports to the Berkeley Police unless otherwise noted. Please share photos, videos and tips, about breaking news or neighborhood safety issues, via email at crime@berkeleyside.com or on Facebook or Twitter; let us know if you prefer anonymity. Don’t assume someone else will alert us — you may be the only one to get in touch. We want to know about issues of concern and rely on readers to help us stay informed.

From Oct. 22-28, there were reports of 10 robberies22 burglaries11 assaults or batteries, four weapon-involved calls and one sexual assault, according to CrimeMapping.com. There were also 15 stolen vehicles14 disturbances and 36 auto break-ins or thefts from vehicles reported. A weapons call and two vehicle thefts were reported by the University of California Police Department (UCPD). Click the links for the latest numbers. The following items represent a sampling of calls, and times may be approximate; incidents that took place during a range of time are listed unless otherwise noted by the beginning of that time period.

Thursday, Oct. 22

A vehicle was stolen at 2:24 a.m. in the 1000 block of Euclid Avenue.

There were two calls involving a gun or other weapon, at 2:40 a.m. in the 100 block of Seawall Drive, and at 6:38 a.m. in the 2700 block of Belrose Avenue. On Belrose, police arrested a 42-year-old Oakland man sitting in a vehicle with a loaded gun just south of UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr Campus. Eliexer Rodriguez, 42, remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail with a bail of $280,000. He was scheduled for a pretrial hearing Tuesday, Nov. 10. Read more on Berkeleyside.

At 9:30 a.m., police arrested a man they say carjacked a driver in West Berkeley after breaking into the municipal animal shelter the prior night to steal a dog he’d been turned down from adopting. Read more on Berkeleyside. (This brief first appeared in last week’s blotter.)

There were four disturbance calls: at 1:31 p.m. in the 1500 block of Grizzly Peak Boulevard; at 2:30 p.m. in the 2800 block of Adeline Street; at 9:49 p.m. in the 1700 block of Franklin Street; and at 10:13 p.m. in the 1200 block of Ashby Avenue.

There was a felony assault or battery at 3:30 p.m. in the 1500 block of Tyler Street.

There were two home burglaries, at 4 p.m. in the 2600 block of Telegraph Avenue, and at 8:30 p.m. in the 1100 block of Glen Avenue.

The BART Police released a brief statement about a strong-arm robbery on a Richmond-bound train at the Ashby station at about 4:20 p.m. after a man accidentally dropped his Samsung Galaxy S6 cellphone on the floor. As he reached down to pick it up, a man “slapped the victim’s hand away, grabbed the phone and fled from the station. Officers responded and unsuccessfully searched for the suspect; they were also unable to track the phone.” The victim sustained a minor abrasion to his hand during the robbery, but declined medical attention. The robbery was described as black, in his early 20s, 5 feet 7 inches tall with a medium build and light complexion. He was wearing a black hoodie and black pants. (This item first appeared in last week’s blotter.)

There was a robbery at 7:30 p.m. in the 1400 block of University Avenue. Police arrested a 57-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman in connection with the case but they are no longer in custody and charges do not appear to have been filed. … Continue reading »

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Motorcycle rider injured in collision on I-80 in Berkeley

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At approximately 6:20 a.m., Oakland CHP units responded to a collision on the westbound lanes of I-80 west of University, according to Officer Sean Wilkenfeld, spokesman for CHP Oakland.

Upon arrival, officers found a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a Honda Civic that had been involved in a traffic collision. The rider of the motorcycle, a 39-year-old man from Richmond, sustained major (non-life-threatening) injuries and was taken by ambulance to Highland Hospital, Wilkenfeld said in a statement.

The CHP’s preliminary investigation revealed that the motorcyclist rear-ended the Honda Civic, causing him to be ejected. Two lanes were closed temporarily to conduct the investigation, but have since been re-opened. … Continue reading »

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Police

Crash in West Berkeley sends pedestrian to Highland

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A male pedestrian was taken to Highland Hospital with major injuries Friday after being struck by a vehicle on the Gilman Street off-ramp from westbound Interstate 80.

The California Highway Patrol said the man’s name is not being released “due to the severity” of his injuries, and “until he is medically stable.”

According to the CHP, officers were dispatched just before 7:30 p.m. to a possible traffic collision on the off-ramp.

Officers found a vehicle and a pedestrian when they arrived.

“The pedestrian sustained major injuries to the head and was attended to by the Albany Fire Department,” then taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland for treatment.

According to the preliminary investigation, a 64-year-old Vallejo man driving a 2011 Kia Sorento was traveling on the off-ramp when, “for an unknown reason, the pedestrian walked into the … lane directly into the path of the Kia.” … Continue reading »

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Police

Motorcyclist dies after crash on I-80 in Berkeley

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Update, Nov. 6: The motorcycle rider was identified as 44-year-old Kelly Wayne Dew of Benicia. His cause of death was blunt injuries, according to the Alameda County coroner’s office.

Original story, Oct. 23, 1:45 p.m. A man on a motorcycle died Friday morning after running into a minivan on Interstate 80 in Berkeley, the California Highway Patrol has reported.

According to the Oakland CHP, officers responded at about 9:15 a.m. for a report of a traffic collision on westbound I-80 near Ashby Avenue.

Officers found a collision involving a 2015 Ducati Diavel motorcycle and a 2010 Honda Odyssey minivan. The motorcyclist sustained major injuries and Berkeley Fire Department paramedics performed CPR on the scene, then took the motorcyclist to Highland Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Alameda County coroner’s office said the man’s name was not yet available as of 1:30 p.m. Friday. Berkeleyside will update this post if the name becomes available. … Continue reading »

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Police

Motorcycle crash in West Berkeley sends 1 to hospital

A motorcycle crash sent one person to the hospital Tuesday night. Photo: Citizen reporter
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A motorcycle rider was taken to the hospital Tuesday night after police say he collided with a vehicle on University Avenue.

According to authorities, the motorcyclist was traveling westbound on University approaching Acton Street at about 7:35 p.m. when he collided with the passenger side of a sedan that was eastbound on University attempting to turn left onto Acton.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said the motorcyclist suffered serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where he is still being treated. The driver of the sedan was not injured.

Coats said the department received multiple 911 calls about the crash. … Continue reading »

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Urban planning

Open house displays plans for Shattuck Square facelift

Shattuck Ave. Image: Google Maps
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Berkeley residents got their first look at the city’s plan to redesign traffic patterns around Shattuck Square on Tuesday night at an open house in the Aurora Theater.

The room was lined with illustrations of the project plans and grids where attendees could rate the current pedestrian, cycling and driving conditions of Shattuck Avenue. Around the displays, engineers, city officials and urban designers associated with the project were on hand to answer questions and provide additional information.

Read more about traffic safety in past Berkeleyside coverage.

The Shattuck Avenue reconfiguration and pedestrian safety project is a part of the larger Downtown Area Plan, which was adopted by the City Council in 2012 and encompasses environmental goals, transit and access, community health, economic development and more.

Among the most dangerous intersections in the city for pedestrians, the corner of University Avenue and Shattuck is number two on the list for pedestrian-car collisions and near misses. … Continue reading »

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Police

Pedestrian seriously injured after Berkeley crash

Traffic is backed up after a serious accident on Telegraph and Ashby. Image: Google Maps
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Update, May 21, 3 p.m. Police determined that the primary collision factor in this crash was a right-of-way violation by the Volvo driver, who failed to yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk.

Update, April 16, 5:45 p.m. Police released additional information about the crash in a Nixle alert at 5:35 p.m.

According to police, there was a report of an injury collision at Telegraph and Ashby avenues at 3:18 p.m. that possibly involved a semi-truck and pedestrian.

According to the preliminary investigation, a driver in a Volvo station wagon heading north on Telegraph was turning right onto Ashby when he struck a female pedestrian.

“While making his turn … the driver may have hit the accelerator and not the brake, causing the vehicle to go into the intersection as a panel truck was traveling east on Ashby. The Volvo then hit the side of the truck as it passed,” police wrote. … Continue reading »

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Caldecott Tunnel bore re-opens after car collision, fire

Caldecott tunnel fire 3.16.15. Photo: CHP
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The eastbound, right-hand bore of the Caldecott Tunnel re-opened at around 11:15 this morning after being investigated for damage following a collision and subsequent vehicle fire that forced its closure.

The accident, which happened around 6:45 a.m. in heavy commuting traffic, prompted authorities to evacuate several dozen drivers by foot and caused significant traffic back-ups in the surrounding area.

CHP was already on the scene of an earlier traffic accident at 6:20 a.m., which had occurred on eastbound SR-24 inside the Caldecott tunnel, when they heard about a second incident. “Officers had cleared that collision and were on the Fish Ranch Road off-ramp when a citizen stopped to report an additional collision had occurred inside the tunnel,” CHP reported in a press release at 10:20 a.m. … Continue reading »

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