Berkeley police have announced a $50,000 reward they hope will help them identify the driver who hit a man outside the Telegraph Avenue Whole Foods in mid-June, leaving him with critical injuries that ultimately proved fatal.
Read more about the life and death of Charles Feezel in past Berkeleyside coverage
On the night of the collision, the driver left the scene. Identifying that person will “bring some closure to the victim’s family,” BPD said in a statement Tuesday. “Investigators believe there may be someone with information about this case and we need your help. Even the smallest detail could be critical in solving this crime.”
The crash took place June 14, when 50-year-old Charles Feezel, in the grips of a mental health crisis, lay down in the roadway near Telegraph and Ashby Avenue. After the collision, Feezel was rushed to Highland Hospital in Oakland. He died 12 days later.
Police said witnesses described the vehicle from the crash “as a lowered, dark-color, mid 90’s sedan, with tinted windows (possibly a Nissan Altima)” that was last seen driving northbound into Berkeley on Telegraph.
Feezel’s surviving relatives, his brother David Feezel and sister-in-law Rachel Feezel, told Berkeleyside in July that they still hope the driver will come forward.
“We don’t blame the person who hit him,” Rachel said. “We forgive them for something that they had no control over. But the part about stopping, they had control over that.”
David said he believes what happened is an accident, but still struggles over what came next.
“How do you leave someone behind like they’re a piece of garbage? How do you just leave?” he said. “I don’t even care if they are prosecuted at this point. Just come forward and apologize for leaving him.”
Police ask anyone with information about the crash to call BPD’s Traffic Unit at 510-981-5980.