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.

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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