Richmond

Woman trapped in crashed car dies

A woman died in a high-speed crash that also caused a power outage Tuesday night, authorities said.

Police have not released the identity of the woman, who crashed a green Ford Mustang into a telephone pole while driving north on Garrard Boulevard, also known as part of the Richmond Parkway. The crash happened just past West Macdonald Avenue around 9:30 p.m., police spokeswoman Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said.

The woman was trapped in her car after the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene, Abetkov said. Nobody else was inside the car.

The crash knocked out power to 743 customers, but all of them had their power restored before 5 a.m. Wednesday, PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said. All but 45 of them were back with power by 10:40 p.m. on Tuesday, she said.

-- Rick Hurd, Staff

Pittsburg

Kirker Pass Road reopens after fire

A key traffic artery between the eastern and central parts of Contra Costa County reopened Wednesday morning after a crash the previous night caused a 15-acre fire that forced the road's closure.

Kirker Pass Road, which connects Concord with Pittsburg, was closed in both directions until just past 8:45 a.m. according to California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Bartlett. Officials shut down the road Tuesday evening after a Ford SUV ran into a telephone pole near Nortonville Road, Contra Costa Fire District spokesman Robert Marshall said.

The crash caused a 15-acre vegetation fire that was contained about 6:30 p.m., Marshall said. The crash also left about 1,700 people without electricity, but power was restored to those customers by 7 p.m., according to PG&E.

Kirker Pass Road was shut down from Myrtle Lane on the Concord side to Pheasant Drive on the Pittsburg side. Traffic spilled over onto Highway 4 both during the evening and morning commutes. Traffic on Wednesday morning was particularly slow in the westbound direction of the highway after Bailey Road, where the CHP described it as a "parking lot."

-- Rick Hurd, Staff

Pleasanton

Commission endorses renaming of park

A proposal to rename a large city sports park after late Mayor Ken Mercer has been endorsed by the Pleasanton Parks and Recreation Commission.

The City Council is expected in July to take up the recommendation to rename the 103-acre Pleasanton Sports and Recreation Community Park for Mercer, who in 1986 became the city's first directly elected mayor and died of cancer last January.

Park commissioners voted 4-1 last week to support renaming the park, which hosts many sports fields along Parkside Drive.

Pleasanton has a policy saying a person must be dead at least five years before a city park or facility can be named in his or her honor. Mercer supporters, however, argue an exemption is warranted for the former mayor, who was instrumental in getting the park developed.

-- Denis Cuff, Staff

Danville

Concord man dies of I-680 crash injuries

A 19-year-old Concord man who crashed on Interstate 680 last week after allegedly leading police on a chase in a stolen car has died, a Contra Costa County coroner's deputy said.

Michael Holden died May 9, three days after the crash that occurred while he was allegedly fleeing police in I-680, authorities said.

Holden was allegedly driving recklessly and sped away from a Concord police sergeant who tried to stop him on Monument Boulevard near I-680 in Concord about 10:30 p.m. May 6, according to Concord police Lt. David Hughes.

Police said the suspect fled on southbound I-680 at speeds of up to 100 mph for about 10 miles.

Near El Cerro Boulevard, Holden lost control of the car, which went off the roadway and struck a guardrail before overturning near La Gonda Way in Danville, police said.

Holden later died at an area hospital.

Police said Holden was driving a car stolen out of Walnut Creek during the chase. The incident remains under investigation.

-- Bay City News Service

Richmond

Woman still in critical after being struck

A 28-year-old woman is clinging to life after she was struck by a car while standing in the middle of Interstate 80, a crash witnessed by four young children, authorities said.

The Richmond resident was flown by helicopter to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek with major injuries following the Monday night crash, according to Officer Sean Wilkenfeld of the California Highway Patrol.

The woman was feeling drowsy and struck the median on westbound I-80 near Solano Avenue to avoid hitting a car in front of her about 9:20 p.m., Wilkenfeld said. Her Ford stopped in the fast lane, and the woman got out and stood in the next lane to call for help, the CHP said.

Moments later, a driver swerved to avoid hitting the Ford, where four young children and an adult passenger were seated, authorities said.

The car instead struck the woman standing in the middle of a lane. No one else was seriously injured.

-- David DeBolt, Staff

Berkeley

Police arrest suspect in sexual assault

University of California police arrested a 50-year-old known sex offender early Wednesday on suspicion of sexual battery in connection with an assault on a woman Monday night near People's Park.

Police arrested Roger Lopez at 1:50 a.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Bancroft and Ellsworth. Lopez had an outstanding warrant for aggravated assault and he is a sex offender who is not registered, which is required under state law, police said.

UC Berkeley police said a 25-year-old woman was walking east in the 2600 block of Dwight Way about 9:35 p.m. Monday when a man yelled at her, ran across the street and grabbed her in the groin area. The man then ran west on Dwight Way toward People's Park, police said.

Based on the victim's description of the suspect, UC Berkeley police detained Lopez, but he was not arrested because the victim could not positively identify him as her assailant. Police later developed information that he was responsible for the crime.

-- Kristin J. Bender, Staff

Pinole

Spring festival returns at Fernandez Park

A full day of activities, entertainment and food will be offered at the second annual Pinole Spring Festival on Sunday.

The event, a benefit for Pinole Community Television, will feature live music by the Jun Simundo Band and Harvey and the Wallbangers, a 1:30 p.m. pet parade, community performances, and food, craft and commercial booths.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Fernandez Park, 595 Tennent Ave. in Old Town. Admission is free.

For details on entering your pet in the parade, send an email to pinolepetparade@yahoo.com.

There will also be a kids carnival hosted by the Pinole Youth Foundation and a beer and wine patio. Early risers can get a start on the day at the pancake breakfast at the Pinole Senior Center, 2500 Charles Ave.

For more details contact Dave Snell at 510-741-3862 or dsnell@ci.pinole.ca.us.

-- Chris Treadway, Staff

FREMONT

Suspected DUI driver slams into building

A suspected drunken driver was injured when he drove a truck into an apartment building in the city's Centerville neighborhood Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Three families were displaced after the 11:30 a.m. crash at a multiunit, two-story building at 4495 Central Ave., Fremont fire Capt. Diane Hendry said.

The man, driving a white extended cab Chevrolet pickup truck, is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and marijuana when he drove into the building, police said.

No residents were injured, Hendry said. The driver of the truck was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff

ANTIOCH

'Coffee with the Cops' planned for Saturday

Antioch police are hosting a "Coffee With the Cops" from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the department's community room, 300 L St.

Chief Allan Cantando will discuss timely police and community issues and recent city crime statistics. The question and answer session is meant to be informative and collectively address issues, Cantando said.

Members of the Antioch Crime Prevention Commission may be in attendance to answer questions on Neighborhood Watch programs.

-- Paul Burgarino, Staff