This story was updated June 7, 9 p.m.
The El Cerrito bicyclist involved in the , 92, as she crossed Arlington Boulevard said in an interview that he couldn't avoid the collision.
Douglas Herring, 57, told Patch this afternoon, Thursday, that he had just descended the hilly portion of the Arlington going north and was heading toward the curve where it intersects with Brewster Drive when he saw Smith beginning to walk across the street from the opposite side.
"I was coming down the hill, and I had some good speed, but I was slowing down for the curve," he said.
"I yelled, 'Wait!'" he said. "I remember yelling three times."
"I screamed basically, 'Wait! Wait!'" he said.
Smith, who was using walking sticks, hesitated at first and then continued walking and then began to run, said Herring, an environmental and planning consultant. He said she couldn't run fast due to her age but that the last-minute change in her movement prevented him from avoiding the collision.
She was wearing hearing aids that were functional at the time, according to El Cerrito police.
Herring's voice broke with emotion as he described the tragic collision, which occurred where Brewster enters Arlington, about 40 feet north of a marked crosswalk. Smith was not using the crosswalk, and Herring was in the bike lane, police said. (Brewster intersects with Arlington at two places – one near Madera Elementary School and the other near Arlington Park where the accident occurred.)
"She started running and she ran right into me," he said. "If she had continued walking, I could have cut hard right. I would have wiped out, but I wouldn't have hit her."
"I plowed right into her," he said.
El Cerrito police Sgt. Shawn Maples said Herring's bike left a skid mark about a yard long before the place of impact.
Herring said he had been trying earlier today to find out the woman's condition. He did not know that she had died until he was contacted by Patch.
"It's so terrible," he said as his voice choked up.
Herring recalled being distressed about the "man who was killed in San Francisco by a biker." Bicyclist Chris Bucchere fatally struck 71-year-old Sutchi Hui in a crosswalk at Market and Castro streets on March 29.
Smith was taken by ambulance to Cerrito Vista Park and airlifted by medical helicopter in "extremely critical" condition with severe head trauma to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, El Cerrito Police Chief Sylvia Moir said. She was pronounced dead about 11:40 last night, according to the Contra Costa County coroner's bureau.
Herring said he landed on his back, "flooded with pain," and was helped to his feet by a passerby. He was taken by ambulance to the Kaiser Medical Center in Richmond, where he was treated and released last night. He said he remains in movement-limiting pain with a sprained back and sprained hip but no broken bones.
Smith, who lived in the neighborhood for more than 45 years, regularly took walks in the late afternoon or early evening. She was active and took care of her own home, inside and out, her daughter Cindy Scott, told KCBS. At age 90, she was rappelling in the Sierra Nevada, Scott told CBS 5.
Her mother was also known as "the friendly lady" among the youth group at her Mormon church, the daughter said.
Herring echoed a opinion shared by many in the neighborhood that the spot where the collision occurred is hazardous.
"It's a bad location," he said, adding that he keeps a careful watch for cars in both directions whenever he walks across Arlington at that spot.
Police expect to wrap up their investigation of the Arlington collision "in the next day or so," including any finding of fault, Maples said.
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