UC Berkeley alum dies in car accident in Emeryville

Shivani Vora/Courtesy

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UC Berkeley alumnus Tarek Corwin Saleh, 25, died early Saturday morning in a car accident in the Emeryville Marina, according to his family.

According to Emeryville Police Department spokesperson Brian Head, police responded to the scene at 6:10 a.m. when a bystander called the department to notify it of a vehicle submerged in the marina. Saleh was identified by police after his car was retrieved from the marina and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Bureau confirmed Tuesday he died of asphyxiation due to drowning.

Saleh, who had been living in Hayward, graduated from UC Berkeley in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in Spanish literature.

Tarek’s brother, Ian Saleh, said Tarek entered UC Berkeley as a junior transfer and had worked at Wei Laboratories, Inc. in Santa Clara following his graduation. The circumstances of the accident remain unclear, even for members of Saleh’s family.

“It was a car accident, but we don’t have all the details regarding the exact order of the events,” Ian said.

Before beginning his current job at Wei Laboratories, Saleh was an operations associate at Pendle Hill Realty, according to his LinkedIn page.

Saleh was also a former communications associate between June 2010 and August 2011 with the Madera Group, a management and communications consulting firm based in Berkeley. According to the company’s website, Saleh had been working in the nonprofit sector in both California and Central America for several years and gained experience working abroad with the International Rescue Committee.

Shivani Vora, Saleh’s former girlfriend and a UC Berkeley alumna, described Saleh as a selfless person who wanted to do service work after getting his degree at UC Berkeley. Saleh was taking pre-medical classes at CSU East Bay in the hopes of going to medical school.

“He was in the process of applying for the Peace Corps,” Vora said.

Saleh wrote on his LinkedIn page that he was an academic mentor and web lead at the American Association of Yemeni Scientists and Professionals, a national organization promoting innovation and attempting to advance the educational success of Yemeni-Americans through research and networking. Saleh was a student at UC Berkeley during his time with the organization. It was there that he created the association’s first online network and also ran tutoring centers at Berkeley High School and Emeryville High School.

News editor Adelyn Baxter contributed to this report.

Anjuli Sastry is an assistant news editor.