Update, June 3: BPD reports that the 32-year-old woman remains in critical condition as of Monday.
Original story, June 1: One woman has died and her sister is in critical condition after a 22-year-old man driving a Tesla crashed into multiple vehicles in downtown Berkeley late Friday night, authorities report.
The woman who was killed has been identified as Luvette Monarque, 36, of North Hollywood, according to the Alameda County coroner’s office.
Police believe speed was a factor in the collision, said Officer Byron White, Berkeley Police spokesman. Authorities are also investigating whether a medical issue may have contributed to the crash, he said.
The Tesla driver was westbound on Haste Street near Fulton Street at 11:47 p.m. when he struck two other moving vehicles — a red Ford Fiesta and a white Dodge pick-up — that were also westbound, White said. White could not provide an estimate as to how fast the man may have been going. In addition to the driver, there were three other occupants in the Tesla, he said.
The Fiesta caught fire after the crash and two sisters were trapped in the back seat. One of the women, Luvette Monarque, later died at the hospital. The other, who is 32, was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition. Her city of residence was not immediately available.
White said three other people — two from the Fiesta and one from the Tesla — were also taken to the hospital with injuries after the crash. Details were not available, but White said he did not believe their injuries to be as serious as those of the women caught in the burning Fiesta.
The Tesla driver, who is from San Leandro, also ran into two parked vehicles before stopping, White said. He is cooperating with the investigation. Police declined to release his name Saturday as he was not arrested.
Police do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.
The Berkeley Police Department’s Fatal Accident Investigation Team responded to the scene and is handling the investigation.
Westbound Haste, from Dana Street to Shattuck Avenue, was closed for about 12 hours during the investigation. It re-opened shortly before noon Saturday.
This story was updated shortly after publication with additional information from authorities.