Car crashes into UC Berkeley dorm, students evacuated

Derek Remsburg/Senior Staff

Derek Remsburg/Senior Staff

Derek Remsburg/Senior Staff

Related Posts

A car crashed into a UC Berkeley dormitory building early Wednesday morning, rupturing a natural gas pipe in the building and forcing about 250 students to evacuate.

At around 3 a.m. Wednesday, the car hit the southeast corner of Putnam Hall, an eight-story residence hall at Unit 1 located near the corner of Channing Way and College Avenue, according to Marty Takimoto, director of marketing communications for campus Residential and Student Service Programs. No injuries were reported.

The collision set off the building’s fire alarm, and the building’s entire resident population of more than 250 students was evacuated, Takimoto said.

“There were a lot of people crowding around,” said UC Berkeley freshman Sharon Scarlat, who witnessed the crash. “About three minutes later, the smell of gas was evident, then a few minutes later the police came and started telling people to leave because of the gas.”

Because the incident affected the outlet side of the meter, which the property owner is responsible for, PG&E is only able to repair the gas service once a licensed plumber properly inspects the damage to the pipe, according to PG&E spokesperson Tamar Sarkissian.

Students were let back into the building by 4:30 a.m. but were expected to be without hot water or heat for the majority of the day.

“We’re doing an analysis of when everything will be fixed,” Takimoto said. “We’re hoping everything will be fixed by the time it gets dark.”

The campus has made arrangements for these students to use bathroom and shower facilities at other residence hall buildings in Unit 1, Takimoto said.

According to UCPD Operations Division Capt. Stephen Roderick, the suspect has been identified as 22-year-old UC Berkeley student Douglas Perez. Perez was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

Amruta Trivedi is the assistant university news editor.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that about 400 students were evacuated. Though officials originally estimated that 400 students had to leave the building, in fact about 250 students were evacuated. Also, a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that 25 students were forced to evacuate the building. In fact it was about 250.

Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comment policy
  • whocareswhocrashed

    Everyone is an internet tough guy. Losers…

  • Name

    all he had to do was stay 40 ft away from the car so he wouldn’t be charged with a hit and run but he panicked b/c he was drunk

  • haha
  • Anonymous

    And here is a picture of the guy who did it. He seems proud.

    • Anon

      Or just grateful to have survived a close brush with death, and that no one was hurt. Not sure if you know what that feels like my friend.

  • Anonymous

    And here is a picture of Doug Perez, the guy who crashed into the dorm. He seems proud.

    • CalBear

      What, is this really the guy?

    • Cal

      WTF Someone should really send this to UCPD.

    • FreshmanInPutnam

      As a resident of Putnam, I must say that this photo makes me very angry. We do not have hot water and have to take showers in neighboring dorms. Fuck you, Douglas.

    • anon

      Grateful to be alive, and that no one was injured.

  • Dr Berkeley

    How come the DC can’t identify who crashed into the dorm? It’s not that tough, reporters — just look at the web site of a real paper and learn it was Cal student Douglas W. Perez.

    • JJMMC

      Because it doesn’t matter?

      • alum

        Of course it matters…public shaming for being an idiot is important in such a case.

        • JJMMC

          I haven’t seen reports that he’s been convicted of any crime…

    • Current student

      anyone know his immigration status ?

      • JJMMC

        Since he wasn’t arrested for driving without a license, I think we can safely conclude that you’re just an asshole.

        • Guest

          What does that matter? Isn’t it BPD policy to avoid ascertaining the immigration status of anyone who could potentially be an illegal immigrant?

          • JJMMC

            Perhaps, but it’s not Dailycal policy to report on the immigration status of every person with a hispanic last name.

  • Current student

    Anyone remember the “putnam porn” ??

  • Facts

    How were so many people evacuated? Putnam has about 250 beds.

    • Current student

      uhhhhh, freshman hooking up their first week away from mommy and daddy ?

  • alum

    Must be one of those paranoid moms moving their kid in