Children want justice after driver kills mother in Berkeley

An East Bay brother and sister are calling for justice after their mother was struck and killed by a driver in an SUV.

It happened right in front of them.

While they call the case a hit and run, police say the facts don’t back up that claim.

The fatal accident happened in Berkeley Monday night, just before 10 p.m.

Not only was a woman killed, but her son and daughter were injured.

A memorial to 54-year-old Latitia Ahmad, a chef, and caterer who lived in Vallejo, with roots in Oakland and Berkeley, sits between Shattuck and Newbury on Ashby Avenue.

Ahmad was crossing Ashby on foot Monday night, after visiting a relative with her son, daughter, and another woman when she was hit.

"Out of nowhere a car just comes and just hits my mom.  And I see her fly in the air.  I see her hit the ground and I’m in shock," said Delvonnia Cooper, the victim's daughter.

Delvonnia Cooper says she darted into the street to tend to her mom.

Her brother, Sharif Ahmad, says the driver appeared to be preparing to leave, so he tried to stop her.

"So, I go reach for the keys and she, she hit the gas and when she hit the gas I tried to grab hold of the car and her," said Ahmad, who was also slightly injured after letting go of the moving vehicle.

The siblings say while leaving the driver hit their mother a second time and hit Delvonnia too.

Ahmad died at Highland hospital, the same hospital her daughter was released from Tuesday after being injured.

"My legs, sometimes they’re numb. Sometimes I feel like I’m just grateful that I’m still walking," said Cooper.

The siblings say the driver never attempted to remain at the scene, so they consider the case a fatal hit and run.

Berkeley police say the unidentified driver left under "mitigating circumstances" and called police minutes later, so they don’t consider it hit and run.

Officers made contact with the driver some distance from the scene.

The siblings say officers contacted the driver before showing up to the accident scene, and they brought up race as a factor interfering with the justice they seek.

"Make her Black and make us white, there you go.  I want that justice. That's what I want."

The siblings say police did not impound the vehicle that hit their mother.

The driver has not been arrested and the siblings say it’s because they were told that, so far, there’s not enough evidence.

But that’s not how they see it.

"That’s manslaughter.  She hit somebody and my mother’s life is gone," said Sharif Ahmad.

Members of the Fatal Accident Investigation Team were not available to answer questions Sunday.  There was only a watch commander available to answer general questions.

The case is still under investigation, so even though no charges are pending, KTVU was told charges have not been ruled out.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misspelled the names of Latitia Ahmad and Delvonnia Cooper. We regret the errors.