Pedestrian, 77, dies after driver struck him south of The Alameda crosswalk

A man died at the hospital after being struck by a car Friday night on The Alameda south of Marin Avenue. Police said he was not using the crosswalk at the time of the crash. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Update, 7:30 p.m. See Berkeleyside’s memorial story on poet Tom Clark.

Update, 4:15 p.m. Some readers have said the man who was killed was California poet Tom Clark. Clark’s Wikipedia page now includes brief information about the fatal crash and says he has died, but Berkeleyside was unable to confirm this as of publication time. The most recent post on Clark’s blog was published Friday.

Original story: A Berkeley man who was struck by a car while crossing The Alameda on Friday night died several hours later at Highland Hospital, authorities report.

The Alameda County coroner’s office identified the man Saturday as 77-year-old Tom Clark.


Berkeley Police Lt. Peter Hong said a witness reported the collision at 8:40 p.m. Friday. The man had been walking westbound across The Alameda at Marin Avenue when a southbound driver with a green light struck him, Hong said. The pedestrian was south of the intersection and was not in the crosswalk when the crash took place, according to preliminary information provided by an independent witness and the driver, Hong said.

Clark was conscious and talking when the Berkeley Fire Department took him to the hospital for injuries to the head and arm, Hong said. The driver, a 59-year-old Richmond man in a hatchback sedan, remained at the scene and cooperated with the investigation. There was nothing to suggest either alcohol or drug impairment had been a factor in the crash, Hong said.

Hong said the hospital later notified police that the man had died, so BPD called out its Fatal Accident Investigation Team to look further into the crash.

A neighbor who has lived near The Alameda and Marin for 40 years described the intersection Saturday afternoon as “very dangerous.” He said drivers often go too fast, or turn right from Marin onto The Alameda without checking to see if pedestrians are crossing.

Anytime he walks across the busy intersection, he said, he makes eye contact with drivers. The man said he worries about school children who often use the intersection, as well as motorists who are distracted by their devices.

He and other neighbors worked together to get the city to install white “stanchions” around the intersection close to the corners — warning posts to help improve traffic safety. But he said the posts often get knocked down and can take a long time to be replaced. He said he’s often heard and even seen collisions over the decades. Once, he came home to find car tracks all through his front yard garden bed.

The man said he was in his kitchen Friday night when he heard shouting, followed immediately by a thump that sounded like a body being hit by a vehicle. But he was unable to see anything outside, other than some vehicles including a fire engine and, later, what may have been a police officer directing traffic.


The coroner’s office said Clark’s official time of death at Highland Hospital was listed as 12:56 a.m. Saturday. A doctor is set to examine his body Monday to determine whether further analysis or an autopsy is warranted in the case.