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Police Seek Witnesses After Berkeley Cyclist Killed Near Campus

Police ask anyone who may have witnessed Friday's fatal crash in downtown Berkeley to call the Berkeley Police Department's non-emergency line at 510-981-5900.

Police are looking for witnesses to a crash in downtown Berkeley on Friday that killed a local cyclist. 

Around 3:40 p.m., police received a report that a cyclist had been injured at Bancroft Way and Fulton Street, said Sgt. Mary Kusmiss of the Berkeley Police Department. 

Kusmiss said a group of community members found the cyclist, who was wearing a helmet, lying in the roadway on Bancroft west of Fulton. 

Bystanders flagged down two EMTs passing by in an ambulance to administer CPR until police and firefighters arrived. Berkeley Fire Department paramedics then tended to the cyclist.

The man, identified as a 65- or 66-year-old Berkeley resident on his way home from work, was taken by ambulance to Highland Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

Just after the accident, a Good Samaritan pursued a man driving a white dump truck that some community members believed may have been involved in the collision, and got him to return to the scene. 

The drump truck driver told police he was not aware that anything had happened, and cooperated fully with the police investigation, said Kusmiss. As of 8 p.m. Friday, police were not planning to take the man into custody. 

Friday night, Berkeley's Fatal Accident Investigation Team had closed off Durant between Fulton and Shattuck Avenue to collect evidence. 

Kusmiss said police had obtained videos from nearby surveillance cameras and would use them to look for details about the crash. 

She said police are eager to find answers to what happened to the cyclist, and ask any community members who may have seen the crash on Friday to call the Berkeley Police Department's non-emergency line at 510-981-5900.

Kusmiss said, unlike in many crashes where witnesses are available to share details with police about exactly what happened, no one had come forward who had seen the cyclist get hit.

Kusmiss said the man's closest family member had been notified, and she had requested that police hold off on releasing his identify pending notification of out-of-town relatives. 

If there's something in this article you think , or if something else is amiss, call editor Emilie Raguso at 510-459-8325 or email her at albany@patch.com.

Zack M. July 14, 2012 at 04:11 AM
A tragedy, my thoughts are with this man and his family. Stay safe out there fellow cyclists.
Anita Rotenberg July 14, 2012 at 04:12 AM
We drove by the scene about an hour later, and Bancroft was closed off, with the bicycle still in the road. There was actually another car accident on Fulton heading north just a 1/2 block away. The car had come up on the sidewalk, and the front end was smashed in. Police and emergency vehicles were at both locations and I assumed the two incidents were related, but apparently not.
John Stashik July 14, 2012 at 04:28 AM
Not really hyper-local news for El Cerrito.
Pwll July 14, 2012 at 04:46 AM
@John. Well, this is the Albany Patch and you're in El Cerrito, the city north of Albany. I'm in Berkeley, the city south of Albany where the accident happened. It is local news for me.
Colin Epstein July 14, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Since there's an obvious need for witnesses, getting the word out into neighboring communities makes plenty of sense. Here's hoping someone comes forward.
Charles Burress (Editor) July 14, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Just a clarification and apology for any confusion. Sometimes articles appear on more than one Patch if there's a reason to share the information in more than one community.
Gary Tang July 14, 2012 at 03:36 PM
We need to add one more module to the driver training to avoid accidents. Most people once in the driver's seat do not see 1) motorcyclist, 2) bicyclist, 3) runner. I was within inches being hit by cars (4 times, 3 in Albany and 1 in Berkeley. All on cross walks!) just in 2012 while running.
mr. potato head July 14, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I bicycle commute from Berkeley to El Cerrito so this article seems hyper-local enough for me. Thanks fro the update, and my deepest condolences to the family for their loss.
Amy Smolens July 14, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Thanks, Gary and Mr. Potato Head. This is important for everyone in our neighboring communities. Yes, we all need to slow down while in or on our vehicles, watch before making any move and be careful. Thanks for cross-posting, Charles.
John Stashik July 14, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Mom and Dad told me at an early age not to run across streets. Good advice. Also, wear white at night. Also good advice.
just me! July 14, 2012 at 06:02 PM
There was car vs bike on Wednesday night by Albany bowl/ Al's burgers. Drivers of vehicles, we have to be SUPER careful and check time and time again.
CJ July 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM
I live in El Cerrito and was driving down Bancroft at 4:50 and traffic was being routed left on Oxford -- no continuing straight on Bancroft and no turning right onto Oxford from Bancroft. We also saw the car on the sidewalk and the dump truck stopped with caution tape around it and many officers and emergency vehicles. So thank you for reporting it here, as we were wondering what had happened. So sad.
CJ July 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Also, my husband works at Cal, so we drive through that intersection many times a week. I find it hard to believe that no one saw the incident -- it s a very busy area with many cars, bikes and pedestrians at all times. Hopefully someone will come forward.
John Doh! July 15, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Such a sad story. Gary's comment reminds me of a runner who was sprinting through the crossWALK, then screamed at me because I didn't see him even though I had stopped and looked in both directions. Doh! Runners should remember that they are moving much faster than a walker. Runners need to be very careful at intersections. Another tip, in the early morning, run on the east side of the street, at dusk, run on the west side. That puts a whole intersection between you and a driver who has the sun shining in their eyes.
Kathy A. July 15, 2012 at 02:12 AM
SFgate is reporting that the bicyclist has died, and they have not found witnesses to what exactly happened: http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Israeli-man-killed-on-bike-in-Berkeley-3707281.php
Annie Organ July 15, 2012 at 06:48 AM
I feel so sorry for this gentleman's loved ones. Thank you very much for posting this story here. Perhaps one of the many UCBerkeley employees who live in our town might shed some light on what happened...Iwe are part of a larger community. As I come home nightly from my job at Cal I worry for the drivers and cyclists who seem so unaware of the dangers they present to each other. Then, you add in the equally unaware pedestrians and it's a wonder we don't hear of more of these tragic stories.
Amy Smolens July 17, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Please pick up some of these simple vinyl "Check for Bikes" clings to help you and others remember to look for cyclists when you are driving. Go to www.checkforbikes.org to help make our roads safer for everyone. Thanks.
Emilie Raguso December 26, 2012 at 09:25 PM
We have the update on Berkeleyside: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2012/12/26/dump-truck-collision-did-not-kill-visiting-israeli-professor

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