Driver crashes into Berkeley homeless camp, pins man under car

The driver may have lost control and struck a fence, trapping the man under her white Toyota sedan, first responders said over the radio.

A driver crashed into a Berkeley homeless encampment Sunday night pinning a man underneath a car, March 21, 2021. Photo: Citizen reporter

Update, Monday, March 22: BPD identified the driver as 38-year-old Lori Acosta of Richmond. She was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in injury, driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.01% while on probation for DUI, and driving on a suspended license, BPD said. According to jail records, Acosta has been released on a bail bond. There was no update available Monday about the condition of the man who was injured, BPD said.

Update, 11 p.m. The Berkeley Police Department confirmed the information below and said the driver is now “under investigation for suspicion of driving under the influence.”

Original story: A man in his 30s was taken to Highland Hospital on Sunday night when a driver struck him at a Berkeley homeless camp, pinning him under her car, according to preliminary information from police.

The crash happened just before 8:50 p.m. at the homeless encampment on Frontage Road just south of University Avenue across from Seabreeze Market, according to emergency dispatches reviewed by Berkeleyside.


The driver may have lost control and struck a fence on Frontage Road, trapping the man under her white Toyota sedan, first responders said over the radio.

“The front of the car is on top of the victim,” a firefighter said over the radio. “The only thing holding it up right now is a fence.”

When first responders freed the man, he was conscious and breathing, according to preliminary reports. The Berkeley Fire Department took him to Oakland’s Highland Hospital, the regional trauma center, for treatment.

A driver crashed into a Berkeley homeless encampment Sunday night pinning a man underneath a car, March 21, 2021. Photo: Citizen reporter

Police were planning to test the driver for possible signs of intoxication, according to the radio traffic.

Berkeleyside has asked BPD for confirmation and will update this post when more information becomes available.

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