A suspected drug deal investigation Wednesday morning set off a chain of crashes in Berkeley, sending a woman to the hospital with minor injuries
Berkeley Police Department patrol officers were doing their usual rounds on Delaware and Eighth streets Wednesday morning when they saw a vehicle parked with someone leaning inside.
The officers recognized the driver because of a previous contact with him and went up to talk to him. Officer Jamie Perkins of the Berkeley Police Department said the officers suspected he was taking part in a drug deal. The driver didn’t obey the officers’ commands to “stay put,” Perkins said and fled from the scene in a champagne colored Toyota van.
He was later involved in a collision when his van struck a green Chevy Lumina going northbound on San Pablo Avenue, which in turn lost control and collided with a blue Volvo going south on San Pablo. The woman driving the Volvo was injured and hospitalized, Perkins said. The suspect vehicle lost his front bumper in the collision and the other two cars also suffered serious damage.
The Lumina came to a stop after hitting Brent’s Unique Shop on San Pablo and Hearst, but Perkins said “there appeared to be no structural damage.”
The suspect’s vehicle fled the scene and is still missing. Perkins said the officers had not pursued the vehicle because they had been on foot when they had gone up to talk to the suspect.
Perkins said that investigators were not releasing the suspect's name at this point.