Driver identified in fatal crash with AC Transit bus in Berkeley

Laura Anthony Image
ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Friday, February 9, 2018
27-year-old woman tragically killed in Berkeley bus crash
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The father of 27-year-old Kelli Zachery talks about his daughter, who was tragically killed in a crash in Berkeley.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- A driver has been identified who died in a collision with an AC Transit bus that sent both the bus and the vehicle crashing into a nearby home in Berkeley this morning.

The victim's father has identified the driver who died as 27-year-old Kelli Zachery. Her father, Kelvin Zachery, is an AC Transit bus driver. He says she was on her way to work at the IRS when the accident happened.

A driver has been identified who died in a collision with an AC Transit bus that sent both the bus and the vehicle crashing into nearby homes in Berkeley this morning.

"I happen to see the news when I woke up," said a tearful Kelvin Zachery, as he sat on the front porch of his Berkeley home.

Zachery told ABC7 News, he had a bad feeling as soon as he saw the little red car depicted in the morning news reports, the one involved in a fatal collision with an AC Transit bus, just a few blocks from his home.

The driver of a Honda Coupe died this morning after colliding with an AC Transit in Berkeley this morning.

The same kind of car his 27-year-old daughter Kelli drives.

"I just noticed a red vehicle and had a gut feeling I probably need to get over there and see what was going on," explained Zachery, "And I got the bad news."

Zachery says Kelli celebrated her 27th birthday just last month. She was going to nursing classes at night and worked at the IRS during the day.

"She was a very loving caring, sweet young lady. I couldn't have asked for God to give me a better child than my Kelli you know," said Zachery.

Berkeley police say it appears Kelli's car entered Ashby from California St. just before 7 a.m. and her Honda was struck on the driver's side by the westbound AC Transit bus.

"It's unclear if there was possibly a run of a stop sign," said AC Transit spokesman Robert Lyles. "We just don't know at this point.

We do know that investigators have collected the video from onboard the coach. There are several different angles and they will use that video to determine what happened."

Lyles said the driver will undergo a routine alcohol and drug screening and that he and a single passenger both escaped unhurt.

The two vehicles careened into the front porch of a home on Ashby Avenue, but no one was injured there either.

Kelvin Zachery told us he just happens to be an AC Transit bus driver, whose routes include Emeryville and Berkeley.

Right now, though, all he can think about is the daughter he lost.

"She's going to be truly missed," he said. "This is the worst day of my life, truly."