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.”