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Berkeley chef identified as victim in Muni crash

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Mark Heryer, a 47-year-old chef from Berkeley, was killed on Sunday when he was struck by a Muni bus while riding his bicycle in the 500 block of Market Street. (courtesy photo)

A Muni bus fatally struck a cyclist Sunday, the third cyclist death in San Francisco this year.

Another cyclist was critically injured in a collision with a horse trailer, also Sunday, according to the San Francisco Police Department. She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital in critical condition.

The cyclist struck by the Muni bus was identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office as Mark Heryer, 47, of Berkeley. Heryer’s friend, Jordan Greenberg, told the San Francisco Examiner they were friends since they were children.

“I’m a little shocked,” he said. Greenberg described Heryer as a talented chef who was very social, and a fun guy. He was, Greenberg said, “a fascinating person.”

The collision that killed Heryer happened about two blocks away from a section of Market Street where private autos are banned, leaving less traffic congestion for cyclists and buses to navigate. The section of Market Street he rode on has a right-hand sharrow lane, where cars and bikes are legally allowed to use the same lane.

The SFPD is still investigating the collision. However, SFPD said preliminarily they believe he may have “lost control” and collided with the bus. Officer Grace Gatpandan, an SFPD spokeswoman, said cyclists legally cannot pass a bus in a streetcar lane.

There was a shared bicycle lane to the right of the bus, she said, and Heryer passed the bus on the left.

Passing to the left of a bus is legal under California Vehicle Code section 21202, if a cyclist is preparing to make a left turn or if a cyclist is circumventing a bus making a right turn. A cyclist can also pass on the left of a vehicle if there isn’t enough space on the right side of the road, or if riding on the right-hand side of the road is otherwise unsafe.

Paul Rose, a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman, said his agency turned over video captured on bus-mounted cameras to the SFPD. The bus operator is now on nondriving status and undergoing drug and alcohol testing per SFMTA procedure.

Heryer’s sister, Stephanie Dawson, told the Examiner that Heryer was a “really experienced cyclist, he’s not some rookie on a bike”

Heryer was born in San Francisco on Nov. 9, 1967. He died at the scene of his collision, according to the SFPD, and is survived by his wife, 9-year-old daughter, mother, father, stepmother and twin sister.

He trained to cook in France, his friends told the Examiner, and on his Facebook page he described himself as an avid archer, a humanist, a freshwater fly-fisher, a chess player, and as practicing yoga everyday to “feel invigorated.”

But more than anything, his friends and loved ones remembered him for his love of food.

His childhood friend, Jodi Lynn Hopkins, said Heryer enjoyed bringing his friends together through dinner parties and sharing recipes.

Dawson recounted her favorite memory of her brother, which also highlighted his love of fine food. When he was nine years old and he was getting off a plane from visiting their grandparents in Kansas City.

“He ran into my mother’s arms and said, ‘I can’t have anymore steak, I need some creamed chicken!’” she recalled.

She said she will cook creamed chicken Tuesday night, to remember him.

Jonah Owen Lamb contributed to this story.

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