Brianna Combash, a Berkeley resident who was struck by an Amtrak train March 27 while riding her bicycle, died at the age of 31.
Combash is remembered by friends for her “bright personality” and her caring attitude for the people around her.
A memorial poster was hung near the train tracks on Gilman and Second streets, stating: “A mother, a daughter, a friend, a lover. Loved always.”
“She was very friendly and fun. She liked to have fun,” said Mena Enibu-a, Combash’s son’s grandmother. “She called everybody friend. She loved to have people around her.”
Combash was an alumna of both Berkeley High School and Berkeley City College. According to Tj King, one of her friends, Combash had a friendly, magnetic personality and a big smile on her face all the time. He said even those who did not like her would still want to be around her and that she could change anyone’s bad day into a good one.
Combash was also passionate about music, and Drake was one of her recent favorite artists, according to Enibu-a.
King said in an email that ever since Combash had her son, he became the center of her world. According to Enibu-a, Combash was happiest when she was living with her son and Enibu-a’s son in Las Vegas for three years before moving back to California.
“She was a family person. She was getting used to family since she grew up in a small family household. Us being in a larger family household, she was getting used to. She tried, she did a good job,” Enibu-a said.
Enibu-a added that the moments she thinks of when remembering Combash are her son’s birthday parties.
Friends of Combash shared memories on Facebook and commemorated Combash’s life. Courtney Delaney, a family friend of Combash, wrote in a Facebook post, “I still can’t believe Brianna Combash got hit by a train in California …I talked to her ALL THE TIME this is so unbelievable.”
Combash was also known among friends for her sense of humor. According to Enibu-a, Combash liked to joke around and was “always doing funny things.” Enibu-a added that Combash was helpful and friendly to everyone she met and that she would miss seeing her smile.
“It’s hard for me to describe her as anything less than friendly, loveable, solid,” King said in an email. “She had this sometimes spastic, but nonetheless gravitational pull towards her.”
King added that he would miss Combash’s laugh and “crazy” sense of style the most.
“It’s crazy, you don’t meet too many folks like her,” King said in an email. “She had such a beautiful spirit. Berkeley won’t be the same from people’s park, to the waterfront, and all over the place she will be missed.”