BERKELEY — Two sisters were trapped inside a burning car — one died and the other is in critical condition — after a man driving a Tesla struck the car they were traveling in late Friday night in Berkeley, officials said.
The collision, which ultimately involved three vehicles and two parked cars and sent five people to the hospital, closed Haste Street in the city’s downtown for roughly 12 hours on Saturday as authorities investigated the gruesome crash.
1 Dead, 4 Injured In Fiery Crash Near Downtown Berkeley
Berkeley police Officer Byron White said it wasn’t alcohol or drugs but speeding that resulted in a 22-year-old driver slamming into a Ford Fiesta, causing it to burst into flames. Police and fire crews began responding just before midnight to reports of the injury collision in the 2200 block of Haste Street, said Abe Roman, the Deputy Fire Chief of the Berkeley Fire Department.
They arrived to find the two sisters — one 36 years old and the other 32 years old — trapped inside the back of the burning car. Fire crews had to use extrication tools, sometimes called the Jaws of Life, to pry open the car and get them out, Roman said. Both were transported to the hospital, but the elder sister, Luvette Monarque of North Hollywood, died from her injuries. Her younger sister remained in critical condition, White said.
Although the details of the collision are still under investigation, White said it appears the Tesla was speeding down Haste Street when he slammed into the back of the Fiesta, pushing the car into two parked cars, and then also struck a white Dodge pickup from behind.
There were five people inside the Tesla at the time, White said, and one — a passenger — was transported to the hospital. All four passengers inside the Fiesta were transported to the hospital. Two people inside the Dodge pickup were unscathed.
The driver of the Tesla, a San Leandro resident, remained on scene and cooperated with the investigation. White said a medical condition may have also been a factor in the crash.
“We don’t know how fast he was going,” White said, “but we do know speed was a factor and that he was going over 25 miles an hour and the impact was severe enough to cause the Ford Fiesta to catch fire.”
White encouraged anyone who witnessed the crash or who may have surveillance footage to contact Berkeley police’s non-emergency line at (510) 981-5900 to speak with an investigator.
Haste Street, between Dana Street and Shattuck Avenue in downtown Berkeley, reopened just before noon on Saturday.
BERKELEY (BCN) — One woman died and four others were injured in a fiery crash that involved five vehicles Friday night near downtown Berkeley, police said.
The crash, reported at 11:47 p.m., was triggered when a speeding Tesla headed westbound in the 2200 block of Haste Street hit a Ford Fiesta and a Dodge pickup truck, according to police.
The Fiesta, with four people inside, caught fire after it was pushed into two parked cars, said Officer Byron White.
All four people inside the Fiesta were hospitalized, but one 36-year-old woman who was sitting in the back seat died, according to police. A 32-year-old sitting next to her was in critical condition. The two women had to be extricated from the car, White said.
The driver of the Tesla, a 22-year-old San Leandro man, remained at the scene and was cooperating with investigators, White said.