Update: Man who died in marina crash ID’d as James Israel of San Anselmo

“We hope the coroner’s investigation and autopsy may reveal more,” police said Thursday.

The fatal crash site at the Berkeley Marina, the day after the collision, Nov. 4, 2021. Credit: Staci Prado/BeFree Photography
Wreckage from the fatal BMW crash at the Berkeley Marina, Nov. 3, 2021. Credit: Brian Cline

Update, Nov. 4, 10:45 a.m. The man who died in a solo vehicle crash at the Berkeley Marina on Wednesday night has been identified as 58-year-old James Israel of San Anselmo, according to the Alameda County coroner’s office. Witnesses told police the driver, who was alone in the car, “left the roadway” and crashed his two-door 2006 BMW into the harbor after speeding westbound on University Avenue and “striking several fixed objects” at Marina Boulevard.

The Berkeley Fire Department’s rescue divers went into the water to recover Israel’s body. BPD brought in its Fatal Accident Investigation Team to handle the case.

Police said it’s too soon to say what may have caused the crash: “We hope the coroner’s investigation and autopsy may reveal more,” said Officer Byron White, department spokesperson. Authorities ask anyone with information about the collision to call BPD’s Traffic Division at 510-981-5980.

A driver was killed when he crashed through a fence and went into the harbor at the Berkeley Marina on Wednesday night, Nov. 3, 2021. Credit: Brian Cline

Original story: A driver has died after what appears to be a solo vehicle crash at the Berkeley Marina on Wednesday night, according to preliminary reports.

The driver, who was reportedly traveling faster than 100 mph, struck a tree at University Avenue and Marina Boulevard then went into the water shortly before 7:45 p.m., authorities report. No information is currently available about the driver except that it appears only one person was in the vehicle.

One body has been recovered but the investigation is ongoing. Berkeleyside has asked BPD for additional information. This story will be updated when those details are provided.

There have already been six official traffic fatalities in Berkeley this year, in addition to a man who had a heart attack and died recently while riding his bike on the pedestrian bridge near Aquatic Park. Also, in September, two men who had gotten out of their vehicles to argue about a crash on Interstate 80 were killed when a third motorist struck them on the freeway.

Read more about Vision Zero on Berkeleyside and on the city website

Berkeley currently has just one police officer assigned full time to traffic enforcement across the entire city; at least three officers in the city’s traffic bureau are currently out on injury, BPD said recently.

The city is working to end traffic fatalities and severe injury crashes by 2028 through a program called Vision Zero.

Berkeleyside updated this story shortly after publication due to the developing nature of events. In addition, the crash took place at University Avenue and Marina Boulevard, not Spinnaker Way, as police said initially. Featured photo: Pete Rosos

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