Press Release: Berkeley Police Confirm Skateboarder's Death

From Sgt. Mary C. Kusmiss S-6 BPD Public Information Officer
Wednesday February 01, 2012 - 10:14:00 PM

The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) has received word from the Alameda County Coroner’s Office that the 18 year old skateboarder passed away at 4:10 p.m. The young man, Tyler DeMartini was a Berkeley resident. Members of BPD extend their condolences to the DeMartini family. 

On the evening of January 30, 2012 at about 7:05 p.m., BPD received calls regarding a collision involving a skateboarder and a car, a Prius, at Marin Avenue and Tulare. City of Berkeley Fire Department (BFD) paramedics transported the skateboarder to a local trauma center. The skateboarder was seriously injured in the collision and according to trauma physicians was in "grave" condition. Because DeMartini was 18, he was not required by CA. Vehicle Code to wear a helmet. (17 and younger) Due to the seriousness of the collision, BPD's FAIT (Fatal Accident Investigation Team) was called in to take over the investigation. The FAIT team, members of BPD's Traffic Bureau, investigates serious and fatal collisions and have extensive training in many disciplines related to collision, diagramming and reconstruction. 

As a result of the preliminary investigation, Traffic investigators report that DeMartini was westbound on Marin Avenue. The 54 year old male, also a Berkeley Resident was eastbound on Marin Avenue, negotiating a right hand turn/southbound left hand/northbound turn onto Tulare when the two collided. Alcohol beverage consumption was not a factor in this collision and the driver consented to a blood draw at the scene in the interest of the most thorough investigation. The driver stopped immediately and was very upset by the incident. 

Although difficult to share, the BPD preliminary collision investigation has determined the PCF - Primary Collision Factor as “a pedestrian in the roadway.” Skateboarders are considered pedestrians in the CA. Vehicle Code. Pedestrian on Roadway CVC 21956. (a) No pedestrian may walk upon any roadway outside of a business or residence district otherwise than close to his or her left-hand edge of the roadway.