A cyclist remains in the hospital this week after a parked driver “doored” her on Sacramento Street in South Berkeley, knocking her onto the asphalt where a driver immediately struck her, causing major injuries, authorities report.
The woman, a 43-year-old mother from Oakland, had been on her way to meet her husband and their three young children for lunch at Sacramento and Dwight Way when the crash happened Nov. 24 at 1:10 p.m., authorities said.
The Berkeley Fire Department rushed the woman, who at one point was not breathing and had no pulse, to Highland Hospital in an effort to save her life. Medical workers were ultimately able to stabilize her and, in the hours after the crash, police reported that the cyclist was expected to survive. As of Thursday, the woman was still hospitalized but in stable condition, authorities told Berkeleyside.
Just before the collision, the cyclist had been riding north on Sacramento Street and had just crossed Ashby Avenue when the parked driver, a 44-year-old San Pablo man, opened his door into her, the California Highway Patrol told Berkeleyside on Thursday evening. When the door hit her, the cyclist fell into the roadway.
A 75-year-old Berkeley woman who had been driving behind the cyclist then struck her at 20 mph, said Officer David Arias, CHP Oakland spokesperson. The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with authorities.
The CHP has identified the primary collision factor in the collision as Vehicle Code 22517: “No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic.”
Arias said, speaking generally, criminal charges are unlikely. The agency tends to pursue criminal charges only when malicious intent can be established, such as when someone is driving recklessly or impaired.
That does not preclude the possibility of civil charges between parties affected by a collision, he added.
The California Highway Patrol took on last week’s investigation because Berkeley’s own traffic enforcement resources are stretched so thin, BPD said previously. The agency 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 out on injury, BPD said recently.
The city of Berkeley has already had eight traffic fatalities this year. And a new collision Wednesday night in the Berkeley Hills sent a 75-year-old pedestrian to the hospital; as of Thursday, she remained in the ICU and her survival was uncertain.
Berkeley is actively working to end traffic fatalities and severe injury crashes by 2028 through a program called Vision Zero.