Suspect in fatal Bay Bridge crash charged with manslaughter

Caltrans toll collector Si Si Han died earlier this month after an alleged drunk driver crashed into the Bay Bridge toll plaza. (Courtesy family of Si Si Han)

Caltrans toll collector Si Si Han died earlier this month after an alleged drunk driver crashed into the Bay Bridge toll plaza. (Courtesy family of Si Si Han)

A Foster City man has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and six counts of felony DUI causing injury in the death of a toll worker on the Oakland side of the Bay Bridge earlier this month, Alameda County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Daniel Berk, 32, was charged on Monday in connection with the death of Caltrans toll collector Si Si Han, 46, of San Lorenzo, on Dec. 2.

California Highway Patrol Officer Andrey Gavrilchik wrote in a probable cause statement that he and his partner responded to the Bay Bridge toll plaza at 5:11 a.m. that day and found Berk, who admitted that he was driving the white box truck that struck toll booth No. 14.

Gavrilchik wrote that he and his partner “detected a faint odor of an alcoholic beverage and marijuana emanating from Berk’s person at the scene.”

According to Gavrilchik, his partner contacted Berk in the back of an ambulance at the scene a short time later and he said he smelled the same odors on Berk and heard him tell paramedics he had been driving the truck and that he had been drinking an alcoholic beverage and smoking marijuana beforehand.

In addition, paramedics noticed that Berk had constricted pupils and didn’t react to direct light, Gavrilchik wrote.

Surveillance camera footage at the toll plaza showed that the truck was being driven in a reckless manner that caused the crash and the subsequent death of Han, he wrote.

CHP officials said after the collision that Berk and a passenger were hurled from the truck onto the road and that Berk suffered major injuries and was hospitalized.

A CHP spokesperson said Tuesday that he doesn’t know if Berk is still hospitalized. A spokeswoman for the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office also said she doesn’t know if Berk is still hospitalized or if he has been arraigned yet.

Berk isn’t listed in the Alameda County sheriff’s inmate locator system, which indicates that he currently isn’t in a county jail.

CHP officials said a passenger in the truck that Berk was driving suffered minor injuries and was also hospitalized.

Five other motorists from the vehicles involved in the collision were also hospitalized with injuries ranging from minor to moderate, according to the CHP.

Han, who was born in Burma, now called Myanmar, was a Caltrans employee for more than 10 years and is survived by her husband, Ryan, and their 10-year-old daughter, Ashly, according to a statement from the office of Gov. Jerry Brown.

Han’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for her funeral expenses, for supporting her family and for Ashly’s future.

As of Tuesday morning, $27,372 of the fund’s $35,000 goal had been raised.

Han’s family members said in a message on the website that “the saddening part” about her death is that the early morning shift on Dec. 2 wasn’t even her normal shift time.

They said a co-worker had called out sick “so Si Si stepped up to fill the shift” and even came to work at 5 a.m., even though the shift wasn’t scheduled to begin until 5:30 a.m.

Han’s family said her husband, Ryan Saw, had dropped her off at work and just as he arrived home “he received the life-changing phone call that his wife had just died.”

Han’s family members described her as “a nurturing mother, loving wife, and a caring individual to all.”

They said, “Her family, friends, and colleagues will forever remember her sweet smile, generosity, and kindness.”

The GoFundMe site for Han’s family is at https://www.gofundme.com/si-si-han-toll-collector.Bay Area News

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