Hit-and-run crash killed man found in South Berkeley median, autopsy shows

The man’s death first appeared to have been due to a medical emergency. On Wednesday, police asked for help to find the driver who hit him.

Police found a man dead in an Adeline Street median last week, just north of a crosswalk and Ashby Avenue, and learned through an autopsy that it was a traffic fatality. Image: Google Maps

A 65-year-old man who died in a Berkeley median strip last week was killed when a hit-and-run driver struck him, police learned through an autopsy this week.

On Wednesday, police announced the man’s death and asked for the community’s help to find the driver who hit him.

A passing motorist had called police at about 12:35 a.m. Sept. 6 to ask them to check on a man lying in the center median on Adeline Street just north of Ashby Avenue, BPD said. He wasn’t moving and the motorist was concerned.

Officers “found the man lifeless, called for medical assistance, and began emergency life-saving measures,” BPD said. But it was too late. Firefighters pronounced the man dead at the scene.

The man had no obvious signs of trauma and there were no indications in the street of a collision, BPD said, so authorities initially believed that his death had been caused by a medical emergency.

But an autopsy Tuesday by the Alameda County coroner’s office showed that the man’s injuries “were actually consistent with being struck by a vehicle,” BPD said in a prepared statement. It is the year’s sixth traffic fatality in Berkeley.

BPD asks anyone with information to call the Traffic Unit at

Police believe the collision happened on the evening of Sept. 5 and are seeking information and video to understand what may have happened. The precise timing of the crash remains hazy.

“It was clear that he’d been lying there for some time,” said Officer Byron White, BPD spokesperson.

On Wednesday, police said they cannot share the man’s name yet because authorities are still trying to find his family. The man had no permanent address, police said.

There have been two other pedestrian fatalities in the neighborhood in recent memory, including a woman who died after a driver struck her as she crossed Ashby Avenue in July and a man who was killed in a hit-and-run crash near Ashby BART station in 2019.

Emilie Raguso is Berkeleyside’s senior editor of news. Email: emilie@berkeleyside.org. Twitter: emraguso. Phone: 510-459-8325.