Vice principal of Berkeley high school dies in bicycle accident

A 40-year-old bicyclist and vice principal of a Berkeley high school was struck by a truck and killed in a crash near Livermore on Saturday morning.

Herman Shum, who worked at St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley for several years as its vice principal of student affairs, was riding eastbound with a group of 50 to 60 other cyclists on Highland Road, according to California Highway Patrol public information officer Derek Reed.

A bicycle crash occurred at the front of the pack, causing other riders to move to avoid the crash. About 9:45 a.m., Shum — possibly after having lost control of his bicycle or being ejected off of it — landed in the westbound lane of the road and was hit by a truck, according to Reed.

Two of those involved in the bicycle crash were injured, one with major injuries. The incident is still under investigation, Reed said.

St. Mary’s held a few hours of quiet time and prayer in the auditorium Monday to honor Shum’s memory. After the new year, the school plans on holding a memorial Mass for students, faculty and staff Jan. 9, according to the St. Mary’s website.

Shum, described as a “brilliant teacher and administrator” who “touched the lives of hundreds of students in his 11 years at Saint Mary’s,” had just been named the principal of Justin-Siena High School in Napa, California, according to a statement posted on the school’s website.

Senior staff writer Melissa Wen contributed to this report.

Bo Kovitz is a news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @beau_etc.