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Albany Police Collision Report on Sunday Wrecks Could Come Wednesday

It remains to be seen whether Albany officials will recommend that the district attorney file charges.

Albany police are completing their investigation into what caused a Berkeley driver to on Solano Avenue on Sunday, officials said.

The report could be completed Wednesday, said Lt. Dan Adams of the , when the officers who worked on the case Sunday return to work for the first time.

The report ultimately could result in a police recommendation that the district attorney's office file criminal charges against the driver who caused the wrecks.

Officials said Shahram Farshchi, 56, of Berkeley struck parked and moving vehicles on the Berkeley side of Solano, then drove into Albany and struck four more, sending three people to the hospital.

Farshchi said he , which is supported by some witness accounts, police said. But other witnesses said their observations during and after the crashes have led them to .

Adams said he could not comment on whether Farshchi has prior moving violations. He said Farshchi's driving history "is part of our investigation," and that he could not release any additional information about it Tuesday.

One injured driver who went to the hospital on her own was home Sunday night. Conditions of two other drivers who were taken by ambulance to the hospital have not been available this week, though police said the victims were alert and talking after the collisions.

On Monday and Tuesday, said Adams, Albany detectives assisted with interviews and followed up on leads. But the collision report will be completed, possibly today, by officers who were on patrol Sunday.

Berkeley police arrested Farshchi on Sunday when he failed to stop after striking a vehicle with his black BMW near Colusa Avenue; he was cited and released that day in connection with the non-injury hit-and-run.

Adams said there are several reasons why Albany's investigation has taken longer than Berkeley's.

"They had a completed crime in Berkeley, because this person left the scene of a collision," Adams said Tuesday. "He did not leave the scene in Albany. He participated in the investigation and provided information as required. He wasn't subject to arrest for fleeing the scene, because he didn't leave."

Albany's police department, a fraction of the size of Berkeley's, was consumed Sunday by the investigation, which has continued into this week.

"There were multiple vehicles involved and multiple injured parties. That was a complete drain on our patrol and rescue resources," he said. "We were completely taxed by the response."

Everybody makes mistakes ... ! If there's something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, give editor Emilie Raguso a call at 510-459-8325 or shoot her an e-mail at emilier@patch.com.

Betty Cho February 23, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Hi Emilie! Are there any details about what time this happened on Sunday?
Peggy McQuaid February 23, 2011 at 05:10 PM
An investigation this complex and far reaching takes hours of police time to complete. It must be done carefully and thoroughly to avoid the possibility of being rejected for any technicalities. Thank you APD for another job well done. Your efforts and professionalism are appreciated.
Robert February 23, 2011 at 06:06 PM
Has this person surrendered his drivers license, if not has DMV revked it? Seizures are serious public endangerment. Does he have a history? Seizures are not a release of liability.
Emilie Raguso February 23, 2011 at 07:53 PM
Yes. Here's the original story: http://albany.patch.com/articles/breaking-news-multiple-vehicles-involved-in-collision-on-solano
Chris Robyn February 23, 2011 at 09:06 PM
Lot of armchair quarterbacking going on. The BMW has a front shock tower brace installed. That tells me the driver wanted a level of handling above and beyond what the stock car was capable of.
Sarajane Forbes February 23, 2011 at 11:07 PM
Hopefully everyone can put their speculations and accusations to rest soon. The Berkeley PD issued a request to all merchants down Solano that my have video surveillance footage of the accidents to provide it for the investigation. I'm sure all of this will be figured out soon, and in light of some of the judgement that has already been passed in the other articles, it is important to remember that in this Country we have the right to a fair trail and are innocent until proven guilty.
CL February 24, 2011 at 12:44 AM
I am not clear on the jurisdictions here. To my knowledge, the north side of Solano is Berkeley, and the south side is Albany between Tulare and Neilson. Going further west along Solano, after Neilson, you fully enter Albany (which is beyond the crash site). If Albany claims to have a fraction of the resources to respond, then this seems like it would be an issue.
Ross Stapleton-Gray February 24, 2011 at 01:18 AM
NB, though, that Solano isn't parking metered on the north side until you get up to about Tulare... I wonder if it's the case that Albany "owns" the whole street up until Tulare, even as the businesses fronting on the north side are in Berkeley territory from Neilson on as you note.
Jane Tierney February 24, 2011 at 01:34 AM
Berkeley "owns" the entire north side of Solano from Neilson to Tulare. This is primarily where the accident occurred. If there were vehicles involved on the south side of Solano, from Tulare to Neilson, they may have landed there after being struck. There is no dispute about the boundaries, just ask anyone who pays Berkeley taxes. There is a lot of confusion due to the unusual division of the street. Albany emergency and police were the first responders, but that doesn't establish jurisdiction. Keep in mind, the small park that was adjacent to the most damaged vehicle, the silver Honda in the crosswalk at Peralta, is owned and maintained by City of Berkeley. I was surprised to see Albany assuming the investigation of this accident, due to the majority, if not all, of the incident happening clearly within Berkeley, such as in front of Barney's and in front of Talaveres restaurants. Even Copy Central where the BMW ended up in the end, is in Berkeley. Just check these establishment's websites. They all list Berkeley addresses.
Ross Stapleton-Gray February 24, 2011 at 01:46 AM
Actually, looking at this map from the City's web site, it looks like the street, per se (probably not the sidewalk and certainly not the businesses north of Solano and east of Neilson), is Albany, past Ventura and up to, but not including, Tulare: http://www.albanyca.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=292
Emilie Raguso February 24, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Great map -- thanks for sharing this, Ross.
Brian Parsley February 24, 2011 at 03:27 AM
I believe Ross is correct. The roadway belongs to Albany but the businesses are Berkeley's jursidiction. A call to the Police Departmant or Public Works might get you more information though.
Emilie Raguso February 25, 2011 at 04:10 PM
As of Thursday, Albany police weren't releasing anything about criminal charges. I was told the collision report is complete, and I have requested it from the department.
hanspeter March 03, 2011 at 07:48 AM
How do you know the APD report was well done if it hasn't even been completed? I'm concerned that the APD was "overwhelmed" investigating an accident like this. What would they do if they actually had a murder on their hands?
Nick Pilch March 08, 2011 at 05:44 AM
Did you get the collision report? Any more details forthcoming about what Albany and/or Berkeley Police departments are recommending? Would the DMV release any info?
Emilie Raguso March 08, 2011 at 05:47 AM
I have an e-mail into the Albany Police Department about this. As of last week, they weren't releasing the report. I imagine, once a decision is made about charges, they will either release the report or not... But I'm still waiting on the final word. I do not believe the DMV will release information on it. I know the report they make available to involved parties is not available to the media. I don't think there is any change as far as what the Berkeley Police Department initially recommended.
hanspeter March 08, 2011 at 06:30 AM
Why would merchants have videos of somebody racing down Solano?
Emilie Raguso March 08, 2011 at 06:36 AM
If merchants have security cameras aimed toward Solano (and their front doors), I imagine it's quite possible they would have relevant footage.
Ross Stapleton-Gray March 08, 2011 at 06:41 AM
Some merchants will have closed-circuit cameras recording a paticular field of view, probably covering a front door, or a view from behind the cash register, so that in the event of a robbery, they can capture images of the perpetrators; some may have the street within that field of view, that might, say, observe a black car go past the front of the store at a high speed at a precisely known time (the video would include a timestamp to allow for reconstructing events of a crime). But even if you had such a camera, it might no longer have the relevant recordings, as they'd likely be recording new images over older ones... the idea is that if you're robbed, you've got the last N minutes on tape when you stop it, and hand that to the police as evidence. Some surveillance cameras, e.g., those in remote locations, observing general scenes (say, an airport parking lot to watch for break-ins), etc., might record for far longer periods.
Nick Pilch March 08, 2011 at 07:16 AM
Thanks, Emilie. Apologies, but could you point me to the report of what the Berkeley Police Department initially recommended? He was cited and released, I know. Was there anything else? Do you know what he was cited with?
Emilie Raguso March 08, 2011 at 07:46 AM
"He was released after receiving a misdemeanor citation related to the non-injury hit-and-run, she said." (http://patch.com/A-fnSh)
Emilie Raguso April 01, 2011 at 12:16 AM
Finally, an update: http://patch.com/A-grMl

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