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Berkeley Police Seek Driver In Fatal Hit-And-Run On University Avenue

BERKELEY (CBS SF) -- A vehicle struck and killed someone on a sidewalk in Berkeley as its driver tried to flee from a University of California at Berkeley police officer on Monday morning, a police spokesman said.

At about 10:30 a.m., the campus police officer was driving on Sixth Street when he saw a gray four-door sedan parked along the curb line and heard a woman inside the vehicle screaming for help, Berkeley police spokesman Officer Byron White said.

As the officer approached the Nissan, the driver sped away and ended up on University Avenue west of Sixth Street, where it hit and killed a female pedestrian on the sidewalk, according to White. Her name has not yet been released.

The Nissan continued fleeing onto Interstate Highway 80 and remains at large as of Monday afternoon, White said.

He said a description of the driver and more details about the vehicle were not immediately available.

"The vehicle is described as a gray 4-door sedan, so we're hoping if anyone has any information or perhaps video or dashcam video, that they can contact our homicide unit," said White.

White said it was "very possible" that the incident may have been related to domestic violence. "But we certainly don't want to rule out other things, it could be something much worse, was this person being kidnapped, was this person a victim of human trafficking?" White said.

Two people were in the suspect vehicle, including the woman who was screaming. The driver is being sought for felony hit and run.  Busy University Avenue was closed for most of the day while police processed the scene and waited for representatives from the coroner's office to arrive.

"Ordinarily this is a super busy intersection and it is a holiday today. We do know that there were people in the area, and there have been some people who have called in to provide tips to us, so we're hoping that the tips continue," said White.

All roads were reopened at 7:20 p.m., Berkeley police said.

"It is unusual. I have not seen anything, I've been walking here for a year and a half. Daytime, nighttime, never seen any problem," said Stew Schmehl of Berkeley.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Berkeley police homicide unit at (510) 981-5741.

© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. KPIX 5's John Ramos and Betty Yu contributed to this story.


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