‘It Shouldn't Have Happened': Construction Fence Traps Couples on Berkeley Bike Path

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Two East Bay couples are recovering after they say a construction fence trapped them while they were out for a bike ride Monday.

Now they're demanding something be done so this doesn't happen to any other family.

It happened on a Berkeley bike path Jonathan Carey and Amy Schoenblum have taken plenty of times before.

“You just don’t imagine that this could happen to you and it was over in a second,” said Carey of Oakland.

A ride Monday around noon, with two of their friends, soon turned into open wounds on the head.

The Berkeley Fire Department called and the only ride they were getting was one to a hospital.

Schoenblum now has a broken arm and wrist and she might need surgery. All because the fence they say was only standing on the concrete feet, trapped them under when the bay winds likely toppled it.

“My experience was horrifying because I thought it was just me and the woman my friend and I started calling to the men so they knew to stop," Schoenblum said.

But even 50 or so yards ahead of them, Carey was under the metal too.  

“We happen to be in the middle of the tidal wave as it started on one end and went to the other end within seconds,” Carey said. 

People passing or driving by helped free the four.

Caltrans said the fence was actually installed as a safety precaution while its contractor constructs the I-80 Gilman Street Interchange Project.

A Caltrans spokesperson said they're currently working with the contractor OC Jones on the situation who hired a subcontractor to install the fence.

In a statement the department of transportation said, "Caltrans and OC Jones are working together regarding this situation. The fence will be further reinforced by June 1, 2023 to protect the public."

But wouldn't go as far to say if the fence was installed incorrectly, saying it is an active investigation.

We reached out to OC Jones and the subcontractor number listed on the fence, but didn't hear back.

Yellow ropes are now fashioned in different spots from a sign and a tree, onto the fence.

It's unclear when those appeared, but Carey and Schoenblum said they weren't there Monday.

They want safety for everyone and that means taking the whole fence down.

“Definitely, it shouldn’t have happened and our whole reason for making our story even public is because we don’t want this to happen to anybody again,” said Schoenblum.

The couples say what's ahead are doctor's visits and likely rehab for Schoenblum.

Caltrans reps told them they could file a claim with the department.

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