BERKELEY (BCN) - A Berkeley man who made an apparent suicide attempt before fleeing from police Friday morning died in a high-speed crash minutes later in what investigators called one of the worst traffic incidents they have seen.
Police Sgt. Mary Kusmiss said the chain of events that ended in a crash that one nearby resident likened to an earthquake began at about 1:50 a.m.
A homeless man riding a bicycle flagged down a police sergeant and told her he saw a man sitting in a silver Subaru parked near the intersection of Bancroft Way and Fulton Street.
The homeless man said a piece of black plastic tubing was attached to the tailpipe of the vehicle and looped into one of the vehicle's windows, according to Kusmiss. He had pulled the tubing from the tailpipe and tried to talk to the man inside the vehicle, saying, "You don't want to do this," Kusmiss said.
The police sergeant was led to the vehicle, parked in a commercial area, and asked the man inside to roll down his window. The man refused, so the sergeant tried to break the window as the air inside began looking hazy, according to Kusmiss.
The man suddenly drove off and the police sergeant followed him as he swerved through various lanes of traffic and ran stop signals, Kusmiss said.
Side note: Summer was an adherent of the "9/11 Truth movement"