A reporter friend (thanks Brent) just sent me this terrible news. Bill Brand, longtime Bay Area beer writer and reporter with the Oakland Tribune, was critically injured last night when he was struck by a Muni train near Pac Bell Park south of 21st Amendment in San Francisco where he had just left to catch a ride to BART. The following information was posted on his Bottoms Up column in the Oakland Tribune.
Bill Brand was in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital after he was hit about 9:10 p.m. Sunday, family members said.
He was was walking near Second and King streets when an N-Judah train struck him, according to the San Francisco Municipal Railway.
In his career with the Tribune, Brand covered a host of topics for the newspaper, including crime and science. After leaving the paper in July, he continued to write a regular beer column titled “What’s on Tap” and contribute to the Bottoms Up blog.
At Bottoms Up, they’re asking to hear from “blogging buddies, commenters and community members in the comments section so they “can pass your best wishes as soon as we’re able to share them.” Let’s do our part to inundate him well wishes.
Bill is a terrific person and an asset to the Bay Area’s beer community, a tireless champion. I’ve been with him at events three out of the last four days, so I can hardly believe this news. With everyone here in the Bay Area for SF Beer Week, let’s all stop for a moment tonight, say at 7:00 p.m. and drink a toast to Bill and especially for a speedy recovery.
UPDATE: I got a call from Jesse Friedman of Beer & Nosh, who sat with Bill last night a dinner. By coincidence, he lies near the hospital and stopped by to see Bill and find out how he was doing. Jesse spoke to Bill’s wife and Bill is in a coma and his prognosis is not known at this time. As I learn more details, I’ll add them here.
UPDATE 2: Shaun O’Sullivan told me as Bill was leaving the 21st Amendment, he paused at the front door to dial a number on his mobile phone, then stepping into the night, turning left. He most likely called his wife, Daryl, s several reports indicate that, such as the following by Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury. “I spoke to his wife, and it sounds like he was on the phone with her just before the accident,” Dean Taylor [of the SF Police Dept.] said. “The train’s driver saw him, and he appeared to walk onto the track, where he was struck by the first eighth of the train, the part up front where passengers get on.”
Brand was knocked into a nearby pole by the impact, Taylor said.