Skateboarder involved in Berkeley Hills collision dies

An 18-year-old Berkeley resident involved in a car collision this week died Wednesday afternoon, according to the Berkeley Police Department.

Tyler DeMartini, a former El Cerrito High School student, was “seriously injured” after colliding with a moving vehicle while riding his skateboard near the Berkeley Hills area Monday evening, according to Sgt. Mary Kusmiss, spokesperson for the department.

DeMartini was transported to Highland Hospital Monday in Oakland in “grave condition,” where he remained for several days. According to the Alameda County Coroner’s Office, the young man’s injuries resulted from “blunt-force trauma to the head.”

Berkeley Patch reported that DeMartini was in a coma until his official death at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday and that tests for brain activity came back negative.

DeMartini was riding his skateboard at the intersection of Marin and Tulare avenues at around 7 p.m. Monday when he collided with a Prius — driven by a 54-year-old male Berkeley resident — making a left turn, according to a press release from the Berkeley Police Department sent out Wednesday.

Alcohol was not a factor in the collision, according to the release.

The preliminary investigation by the department determined that the accident was most likely caused by DeMartini being in the roadway.

“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,” according to the press release citing part of the California Vehicle Code.

According to the police report, DeMartini was not wearing a helmet, but people 18 and older are not required to by law.

Friends and classmates Tweeted updates about DeMartini’s condition while he was in the hospital expressing hope about his recovery, and some came to the hospital.

In a tweet Wednesday, friend Chloe Azevedo described DeMartini as “one of the most stubborn guys I know,” and urged others to channel that spirit into fighting for his recovery.

A vigil was held Wednesday evening at the intersection where the collision occurred.

“So many people came out for your memorial,” said Gabe Scaglione, a friend of DeMartini’s, in a tweet. “Your legacy will live with everyone. Love you bro.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1082881734 Donthaveone Starfire

    Another one bites the dust.  This idiot got what he deserved.  I hope the driver sues his family for damages!

  • Adamlicata89

    Nice article…hey everyone http://www.skateboardcrazy.com is back and better then ever.

    • Berkeleyan

      You’re going to burn in hell. 

  • Guest

    As a pedestrian who often walks that stretch of Marin, I’m fascinated by the number of drivers with no regard for the people walking, biking, or skating in this pedestrian-heavy area.

    Most of the drivers I see who whip around a corner onto a side street off of Marin are middle-aged or older. These same drivers might find solace in telling themselves this kid brought it upon himself because he was, apparently, skateboarding down the road at dusk.

    It’s worth considering the responsibilities of driving in an area so heavy with pedestrians. I expect an 18-year-old to make a poor choice sacrificing safety for speed on a five-pound slab of wood. These middle-aged drivers, however, I expect to have greater respect for the small children I’ve seen playing up and down that street or people walking home from the bus stop at dusk as they careen around corners in 3,000-pound cars.

    The circumstances that led to this guy’s death persist. The same scenario will play out one day with a person in a crosswalk — I’ve seen enough close calls to reasonably expect that. Police will not be as lenient when a 7-year-old’s head gets caved in by a Prius.

    • Berkeleyan

      I feel bad for the kid too, but will you please shut the fuck up you preachy little self-righteous douche?  Thanks in advance.  

      • reasonable_person

        Wow, you really won that argument. Not just anyone can insult someone and call them a name. You must do a lot of persuasive writing. I especially like that point you made about… o wait you literally have no point to make whatsoever. If you are not capable of articulating an argument you probably should not get on a blog and insult someone who, whether you agree or disagree with, made a solid argument. Thanks in advance.

        • Berkeleyan

          Let me restate it: in my humble opinion, it was preachy.  And why does he pick a Prius driver?  Aren’t they going to be more environmentally conscious than, say, a Chevy Tahoe driver?  The tone was preachy.  Happy?  Shall we delve further into this?  

    • Stan De San Diego

      > As a pedestrian who often walks that stretch of Marin,
      > I’m fascinated by the number of drivers with no regard
      > for the people walking, biking, or skating in this
      > pedestrian-heavy area.

      I’m equally fascinated by people who think that skateboards are a form of legitimate transport that should share the road with motorists.  I’m also amazed that nobody has pointed out how dangerous hybrid vehicles can be when interfacing with non motor vehicle traffic, since you can’t hear them coming most of the time. This was bound to happen sooner or later.