Breaking: Berkeley cyclist dies after hit and run

Michael Lake. Photo: Courtesy of family
Michael Lake. Photo: Courtesy of family

A Berkeley cyclist has died following a hit-and-run crash with a car earlier this month on University Avenue, authorities said Tuesday.

The driver in that incident left the scene, and police are continuing to investigate the collision as a hit and run.

The Alameda County coroner’s office identified the man Tuesday as 64-year-old Michael Lake of Berkeley.

He died at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center at 9:05 p.m. Monday.


A family member, Gwendolyn West, told Berkeleyside that Lake died Monday night “after being moved into post-hip-surgery rehabilitation.”

Earlier this month, on Jan. 16, West said Lake had been “moved out of the ICU and he’s very sore and may need hip surgery. He is awake and speaking with visitors, but gets tired quickly.”

Sgt. Paul Graves at the coroner’s office said Tuesday that Lake’s cause of death has not been determined because he has not yet had an autopsy.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats said earlier this month that the accident took place just before 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, on University Avenue at McGee Avenue.

Coats said by email that dispatchers received calls about an injury collision involving a vehicle and cyclist, as well as reports that the driver had fled the scene.

The bicyclist suffered serious injuries.

Paramedics placed a man onto a gurney at the scene of a hit-and-run accident at University and McGee avenues, in Berkeley, on Tuesday, Jan. 13. The victim was riding a bicycle. Photo: David Yee
Paramedics placed a man onto a gurney at the scene of a hit-and-run accident at University and McGee avenues, in Berkeley, on Tuesday, Jan. 13. The victim was riding a bicycle. Photo: David Yee

“We are investigating this as a hit and run with injuries,” Coats said in an email Jan. 14.

Coats was unable to provide information Tuesday about the circumstances of the crash, but said she would find out from investigators what the police department is able to release at this time.

According to scanner audio recordings reviewed by Berkeleyside, an officer who responded to the scene Jan. 13 said the cyclist was down in the street and appeared to be unconscious. According to one report, he was “bleeding heavily from the head.”

Berkeley paramedics took the cyclist by ambulance, using lights and sirens, to Highland Hospital for treatment, according to the scanner.

Witnesses told police the involved vehicle was a four-door white sedan that may have had dealer license plates and was last seen heading east on University.

Michael Lake, in earlier years. Photo: Courtesy of family
Michael Lake, in earlier years. Photo: Courtesy of family

Update, Jan. 28, 11:25 a.m. According to Lake’s niece, Gwendolyn West, Lake grew up in Pinole and has lived in the Bay Area for most of his life. Berkeleyside hopes to learn more.

Berkeley Police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats confirmed Tuesday evening that police are looking for a white or beige, four-door sedan with tinted windows. No arrests have been made. Police ask anyone with information about the crash to contact the Berkeley Police Traffic Bureau at 510-981-5900.

Update, Jan. 28, 2:25 p.m. According to one Berkeleyside reader, Lake was a parking attendant for the UC Berkeley Optometry center on campus near the Haas School of Business.

[Editor’s note: The language regarding the crash in the opening paragraph was updated following publication to better reflect what occurred.]

Related:
Cyclist seriously injured in Berkeley hit-and-run (01.15.15)
Injured pedestrian taken to hospital after Berkeley crash (01.05.15)
Vice principal at St. Mary’s school killed in bike accident (12.29.14)
A tragic death in Berkeley spurs funds for traffic beacons (12.22.14)
Berkeley police rule cyclist responsible for fatal crash (10.15.14)
Cyclist dies after North Berkeley crash with car (09.23.14)
Bicyclist suffers life-threatening injuries after colliding with car (09.21.14)
Richmond man dies after Berkeley motorcycle crash (09.08.14)
Driver charged in vehicular manslaughter of Berkeley man is ‘legally blind’ (08.04.14)
7-year-old cyclist in serious condition after accident on Bancroft Way (06.16.14)

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