A Berkeley woman crossing Marin Avenue was struck at slow speed by a driver late Wednesday afternoon and is now in the ICU, authorities report.
The 75-year-old woman was crossing Marin at Euclid Avenue when the driver, who was coming down the hill, struck her in the crosswalk just past the intersection, said Officer Byron White, Berkeley police spokesperson.
The pedestrian was taken to Highland Hospital, the regional trauma center, for treatment. No further information was available Thursday about her condition.
The woman had been walking across Marin when the westbound driver, a 26-year-old Berkeley woman in a Ford SUV, struck her at approximately 10 mph. The driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation, White said.
It’s too soon to say what may have preceded Wednesday’s crash, White said, but it’s possible the steep hill, which has an 18% grade at that location, and the low angle of the setting sun may have played a role.
Berkeley has been plagued this year by serious traffic collisions, which have so far resulted in eight deaths: five pedestrians and three people in vehicles. Police have struggled to keep up with those investigations due to chronic short staffing.
The BPD statistics do not even capture all of the traffic fatalities in the area in recent months: In September, two motorists were killed on the freeway when they got out of their vehicles to argue and, in October, a cyclist died from a medical emergency while biking near Aquatic Park. In November, a Berkeley midwife died after crashing while cycling in the Oakland Hills not far from the Berkeley border.
Last week, a woman biking in South Berkeley was critically injured when a driver ran over her north of Ashby Avenue. The California Highway Patrol took on that case because the city’s traffic enforcement resources are stretched so thin. The CHP did not respond Thursday to a request for an update about the woman’s condition but police told Berkeleyside last week that she was expected to survive.
In May, a driver and his passenger were killed when they crashed at Santa Barbara Road after hurtling down Marin Avenue in an older-model sedan. The investigation report remains incomplete pending analyses from outside agencies, but the cause appears to have been mechanical due to brake failure, BPD told Berkeleyside this week.
The city is working to end traffic fatalities and severe injury crashes by 2028 through a program called Vision Zero.