Hit-and-run driver kills pedestrian on sidewalk during UC Berkeley police chase

The driver who fled was in a charcoal gray four-door sedan with a second occupant at the time of the crash, police said.

Berkeley police investigate a fatal hit-and-run crash, Jan. 20, 2020. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Update, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 1:15 p.m. BPD has identified the woman who was killed Monday in a fatal hit-and-run crash as a 58-year-old “female transient.” BPD wrote on Twitter at 1:08 p.m. that “The @ACSOSheriffs Coroner’s Office is awaiting family notification prior to releasing the name of the deceased.”

Update, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 9:55 a.m. UCPD Sgt. Sabrina Reich told Berkeleyside that the UCPD officer not only heard screaming but also saw a man inside the vehicle “violently assaulting” another person in the car before he tried to intervene. The Berkeley Police Department has released no updates Tuesday.

Update, 2:05 p.m. Monday morning’s fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian began when a University of California police officer driving by a parked vehicle heard a female passenger screaming for help, said Officer Byron White, BPD spokesman.

The vehicle was parked in front of a church at Sixth Street and University Avenue when the officer drove by. When UCPD tried to stop the vehicle, the male driver sped off, White said. Police now describe the involved vehicle as a charcoal gray four-door sedan.


Police say the pursuit began on Sixth Street north of University but eventually crossed University southbound as the chase unfolded in the neighborhood. Ultimately, the driver headed northbound on Sixth and made a wide left turn onto University, ending up on the sidewalk where he left black skid marks, then struck the woman who was ultimately pronounced dead.

Berkeley police investigate a fatal hit-and-run crash, Jan. 20, 2020. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Update, 12:11 p.m. The driver who fled was in a gray 2010 Nissan four-door sedan with a second occupant at the time of the fatal crash, said BPD Lt. Kevin Schofield. He said westbound University would be closed between Fifth and Sixth streets for several hours. The original reason for the police stop was not immediately available. Schofield said it was a female pedestrian who was killed.

Original story: A pedestrian on the sidewalk was killed Monday morning by a hit-and-run driver who was fleeing from UC Berkeley police, authorities report.

Officer Byron White of the Berkeley Police Department said the University of California Police Department had attempted to stop the motorist, who instead drove away.

According to radio traffic reviewed by Berkeleyside, police are on the scene at 811 University Ave. (near Sixth Street) for the investigation, which began at roughly 10:30 a.m. According to the scanner archive, police from UC Berkeley were pursuing a driver who at some point fled westbound on University onto eastbound Interstate 80. During the pursuit, the driver struck and killed the pedestrian.


White said the motorist drove up onto the sidewalk and hit a pedestrian there. Additional information will be released later in the day, he said.

The Berkeley Police Department has closed off lanes in the area and called in detectives and its Fatal Accident Investigation Team, according to radio traffic.

When Berkeley firefighters arrived on the scene, they found one person on the ground who was not moving.

Police remain in the area taking statements and the investigation is underway, according to radio traffic.

Berkeleyside has asked the University of California Police Department for comment and will update this story when information is available.


Police ask anyone who may have been driving in the area at about 10:30 a.m. who saw what happened or may have dash-cam footage to call BPD’s homicide detail at 510-981-5741.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.com. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.