Berkeley school board president Judy Appel, wife continue medical treatment after car accident

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Berkeley Unified School District board, or BUSD, President Judy Appel and her wife Alison Bernstein are continuing their medical treatment in a local hospital with the added support of a community fundraising effort after sustaining critical injuries in a South Berkeley car incident Jan. 5.

While crossing Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Appel and Bernstein were hit by a northbound vehicle. BUSD uploaded a press release to its website Tuesday stating that the board will continue its regular meetings with Vice President Beatriz Leyva-Cutler presiding.

BUSD board clerk Ty Alper said in an email that there are no more updates on Appel and Bernstein’s recovery as of yet, and the board is respecting the family’s request of privacy. Alper said the BUSD community is hard at work for the students while Appel and Bernstein are in recovery.

“As far as BUSD, we miss President Appel’s leadership and are looking forward to her return,” Alper said. “In the meantime, we have a great team in place that is working hard every day to serve our students.”

Berkeley community members have created online support networks to aid in Appel and Bernstein’s recovery. According to her page, Jessica Behrens, who created a GoFundMe page for Appel and Bernstein’s medical bills, will be withdrawing the funds from the account Friday in order to mail a check to the Appel family.

As of Monday, the GoFundMe page had raised more than $9,500 in 15 days. The fundraiser is audited by Behrens, who has been in contact with Appel and Bernstein’s family members. Behrens expressed her gratitude to the community for supporting the fundraiser.

“This fundraiser has been thoroughly documented and audited and I’ve been in continuous contact with the family and their representatives,” Behrens said in the page. “We are all grateful for the support and love from the community.”

Bella An covers city government. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @BellaAn_dc.