Berkeley professor emeritus struck by driver in Telegraph Avenue crosswalk

The crosswalk on Telegraph Avenue at Oregon Street. Image: Google Street View

A UC Berkeley professor emeritus is recovering from moderate injuries this week after a driver struck him in a crosswalk on Telegraph Avenue on Saturday night, police and community members report.

The man’s wife identified the man to Berkeleyside as UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus Tim Wallace. Wallace is also president of the Claremont Canyon Conservancy, a nonprofit focused on the long-term stewardship of the canyon.

Police said the man, who is 90, was walking eastbound in a Telegraph Avenue crosswalk near Oregon Street at 8:45 p.m. when a northbound driver struck him. Wallace of Berkeley was taken to the hospital with moderate injuries. The driver, a 71-year-old Berkeley woman, remained at the scene and was cooperative.

Police do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the collision, said Officer Byron White, Berkeley police spokesman.


Marye Jayne Wallace said her husband suffered broken limbs and a head injury, along with other lacerations. He went through the driver’s windshield, she said. Berkeley firefighters took him to Highland Hospital for medical treatment.

Wallace said she and her husband had just left the same place, but she was in a vehicle heading home when the crash happened.

“I got a call from a very kind woman who said she was a witness and was holding his hand while he was on the roof of the car, waiting for the ambulance,” she told Berkeleyside.

Wallace also expressed concern about traffic safety in the area of the crash: “There isn’t a lot of light along there and I feel traffic was moving rather fast.”

One woman who was in the area shortly after the crash described the driver to Berkeleyside as extremely distraught: “She sobbed and eventually we heard her wail into a phone that she had killed a pedestrian…. We saw him being loaded into the ambulance; he had a bloody face. I haven’t stopped thinking about him and hoping that the driver was wrong, that he ultimately made it.”

The Berkeley Police Department does not routinely release traffic statistics, but there were at least eight crashes involving pedestrians in Berkeley in August alone, according to data Officer White provided Wednesday. Of the 78 crashes in August, 35 involved some type of injury. (The list is incomplete but provides some context, he said shortly after publication.)

The severity of most of those crashes was not available, but one resulted in the death of renowned Berkeley poet Tom Clark.


More recently, a pedestrian on Hearst Avenue sustained serious injuries during a crash Tuesday evening. He is expected to survive.

Read more about pedestrian safety on Berkeleyside.