Update: Witness Recounts Aftermath of Major-Injury Crash Involving Skateboard, Prius on Marin

The accident took place Monday evening on the Albany-Berkeley border, at Tulare and Marin avenues.

A skateboarder was sent to Highland Hospital on Monday night after receiving "pretty significant injuries" resulting from a crash at Marin and Tulare avenues, authorities said. 

As of 1:40 a.m., the Berkeley Police Department had declined to release many details of the accident.

Berkeley Police Lt. Randolph Files confirmed that there was a pending investigation into an accident on Marin involving a skateboarder and a vehicle, but would not share other aspects of the crash.

Files also would not release the age of the victim.

One reader sent an email about the accident to Albany Patch at 7:40 p.m., describing it as "nasty looking," with several police cars, at least one vehicle involved and debris in the roadway.

As of 9:54 p.m., he said police were still on the scene and had blocked off Marin between Ventura and Tulare avenues. 

Another local resident was one of the first to arrive after the accident happened.

Berkeley resident Matt Winkelstein said he was on his way to the grocery store when he came across the Prius stopped in the intersection of Marin and Tulare with its lights on, and someone lying in the road. 

He stopped to see if he could help. He saw the Prius driver outside the car, and the victim, who appeared to be 13-15 years old, lying on the ground bleeding profusely from a head injury. 

"I tried to help him, holding his arm and saying, 'You're going to be OK,'" said Winkelstein. "He seemed to be fading more than coming around." 

The victim was breathing but did not respond to questions, said Winkelstein.

"He was kind of all twisted up, lying there in a heap," he said. The Prius had extensive damage to the windshield. "It was crunched in, and cracked all over."

Winkelstein said the intersection is "quite dark." A number of neighbors came out to help. One brought out a blanket, he added. Police arrived "very quickly." 

Rescue workers cut off the victim's shirt, and rolled him onto a stretcher before taking him away for medical care. 

"I really hope he made it," said Winkelstein. "My guess is that it could have gone either way. There was a lot of blood and he was in bad shape."

Berkeley Fire Department, Station 4, also responded to the accident. 

According to the Fire Department, the victim's injuries were "pretty significant"; he was taken to Highland Hospital in one of Berkeley's paramedic ambulances. 

(A nursing supervisor could not be reached at Highland Hospital; Patch has requested information from the hospital spokeswoman.)

Winkelstein said he overheard the Prius driver say something to the effect of "He came out of nowhere," about the skateboarder. The driver appeared to be in his 50s and was well-dressed. He was trying to call 911 as Winkelstein pulled up.

Albany Police said they responded to the scene to help with traffic control, but were otherwise not involved, as the incident took place in Berkeley.

Francois Nguyen, who lives nearby, said, in an email to Albany Patch, that the area can be "rather dangerous" to walk in at night. 

"We make sure we have a flashlight to make sure cars slow down," he said. "My advice: Carry a flash light, wear light colors, wave and make eye contact with the drivers."

Albany Patch has requested more information from the Berkeley Police Department, and we will update this story as more details become available. 

Know or see anything? Please let us know in the comments. 

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 at albany@patch.com.  

lubov mazur February 14, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Part 3 Monderman has posted ten short interviews about changes in traffic planning on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo3KWHqmDhA where he explains many of the theories and practices of Shared Space and traffic management. A short biographical essay about him can be found at: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.12/traffic.html?pg=1&topic=traffic&topic_set= An additional bit of informative reading is titled, Confessions of a Recovering Engineer, an article posted on the Strong Towns Blog. Traffic engineer Charles Marohn comes to the realization that his ideas about what is good for traffic planning is in direct contradiction of the ideas of residents about what makes good communities. http://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2010/11/22/confessions-of-a-recovering-engineer.html?goback=.gde_95125_member_36189844
lubov mazur February 14, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Part 2 Portishead in England had very complex road patterns and many control lights at complicated intersections with traffic congestion that made a transit of the town take fifteen monutes. On a well posted, designated day the lights were covered for two days. The traffic then moved smoothly through the traffic patterns without incident and the transit time was reduced to five minutes. Pedestrians and cyclists were more safe because motorists were more observant, made eye contact, and had a sense of shared space instead of the entitlement they felt they had before, when lights and signs told them how to behave instead of the conditions at hand. The online video with interviews of the townspeople is very encouraging: http://www.wimp.com/trafficlights/
lubov mazur February 14, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Part 1 Emilie Here is a post from a previous article, or maybe an email. There is an idea going around about how to make streets and the towns they run through safer and more reasonable. It does not have anything to do with more signage, humps, or limits. It does have everything to do with drivers who make eye contact and think about what their external environment is because they are not being subjected to orders from signs and signals. It is being implemented by engineers like Hans Monderman, who has successfully modified traffic controls in medieval villages to newly designed communities. Ten years ago the people of Oudehaske in Friesland removed the traffic control measures that were cluttering their village. Accident rates were reduced and the speeds dropped by more than half. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6S2GXLsSh4
Benton April 14, 2012 at 07:09 AM
What I'd like to see in the follow-up stories about this tragic accident is how far the Prius's headlamps projected? Only asking because when I was driving a day or so later after Tyler's death along some darkened back roads in CoCo County, I noticed how much of the road in front of me lit up. My vehicle is more than 10 years old and I could not tell if the headlights were brightening the road to a distance of 160 feet or so, which is the distance the headlamps are supposed to project illumination at low beam. So were the Prius headlamps projecting light up to 160 feet that night that Tyler was killed? If they were, how is it the driver was not able to detect Tyler's oncoming presence at all? And did the driver activate his turn signal before making his turn in front of Tyler?
emr April 21, 2012 at 07:51 AM
I spoke with Tyler's mom this week and she told me she had the opportunity to meet with the driver in the crash, and wanted everyone to know what a good man he is.


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