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A Hogmanay Tragedy

Posted by berkeleyscot on January 9, 2008

On December 31, 2007, Richard and I were driving to North Berkeley to buy Dungeness crabs from Andronico’s.

As we drove east on Marin Ave, a police officer diverted us away from the area. There were a lot of police cars.  We could tell it was a serious situation and the police cars and diversions were still there when we drove home.

A neighbour told us traffic was still being diverted that evening, but nobody knew why.

I forgot about it until January 4, 2008 when I picked up a copy of our local free newspaper, the Berkeley Daily Planet.

A report of the incident was on the front page. According to the reported time of the incident, we had just missed witnessing a horrific traffic accident.

Marin Ave is not really pedestrian friendly, and although there are crosswalks, traffic usually goes faster than it should.

A woman, on her regular morning walk was in the crosswalk, and was struck and killed by an elderly driver, who was turning right onto Marin Ave. The driver claimed that the sun was in her eyes and she did not see the victim.

This tragedy was made even worse by the fact that the victim was carrying only her house and car keys and had no identification.

Police officers knocked on doors and tried to activate cars, hoping for an identity clue, but were unsuccessful.

The newspaper report said that the victim’s husband called police at 5:30pm that evening to report her missing.

I don’t know what to say.

She went for a walk, as she always did.

The sun was in the driver’s eyes. The victim has now been identified as a well-known, local, psychiatrist.

The driver, age given as 79, will have forever the burden of the sun in her eyes.

What a tragedy.


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