The man who died over the weekend in a motorcycle crash in South Berkeley was 52-year-old James “JT” Street, a longtime city worker and Berkeley native who lived just blocks from where he lost his life.
If you knew JT Street, please share memories in the comments below or email Emilie Raguso
Street was an assistant supervisor in sewer maintenance for the city of Berkeley, where he had worked for 19 years.
He “was skilled in his work and wanted to do his best,” according to a statement prepared by the city this week. “He was an integral part of Public Works’ Streets & Utilities Division for 19 years, sharing his knowledge with others along the way. He was a Berkeley native who loved reading, his black truck, and most importantly his family. He will be missed.”
On Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council opened its meeting with memorial remarks about Street’s longtime service to the city.
“This loss is felt not just in the city organization but throughout South Berkeley. He was a longtime part of our community,” Mayor Jesse Arreguín told Berkeleyside. “I send my deepest condolences to his family and fellow city staff.”
Street’s family has so far declined to comment about the tragic loss.
Writing on Facebook on Sunday afternoon, friend Christina Murphy described Street as a solid leader in South Berkeley who was devoted to his friends and cared “about your community from the heart.”
“You looked after all your folks,” she wrote.
Street attended Berkeley High School where he was a member of the wrestling team.
“Next year, when our younger wrestlers get some experience, we will be tough to beat,” he told the 1987-88 yearbook staff.
South Berkeley Councilmember Ben Bartlett said Street was always warm and gracious when the men saw each other in the neighborhood or during community cleanups.
“My prayers go to his family,” Bartlett told Berkeleyside on Wednesday.
Street died early Sunday morning when his motorcycle crashed on Adeline Street not far from his home on Alcatraz Avenue.
Police responded to the crash just after midnight and found Street and his bike, a blue Harley-Davidson, in the grassy median just north of Stanford Avenue.
Police performed CPR on Street until firefighters arrived to take over life-saving efforts, but they were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash investigation is still in progress, but police believe Street — for an unknown reason — struck the curb near a concrete barrier on the east side of Adeline as he rode north. The collision sent him traveling across the lanes and into the median.
There were no skid marks in the roadway, police said this week. BPD does not suspect alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.
Now, investigators are waiting for the coroner’s report to determine whether Street may have had a medical emergency.
Street’s death was Berkeley’s first traffic fatality of the year.
Last year, eight people died in Berkeley traffic collisions. It was the highest number on record for decades.