Katherine Ann Berman, wife of ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman, was killed in a two-car crash Tuesday in western Connecticut.
The fatal crash happened about 2:15 p.m. on a state road in Woodbury, state police said. Edward Bertulis, 87, also died following in the collision, police said Wednesday morning.
Troopers are investigating the possibility that Bertulis suffered a medical emergency right before Berman’s car crashed into the back of his car a state police source told the Hartford Courant.
In a statement about Katherine Berman’s death, the president of ESPN called the crash “a devastating tragedy” and said it was “difficult to comprehend.”
“Chris is beloved by all his ESPN colleagues and for good reason: He has a huge heart and has given so much to so many over the years,” John Skipper said. “We know how much his family means to him and all we can do at a moment like this is give him the love and support he will surely need at this hour. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris, Meredith, Doug and the entire family.”
State police said that at the time of the crash Katherine Berman was driving a 2003 Lexus SC 430 that was behind Bertulis’ 2003 Ford Escape X.
The Lexus rear-ended Bertulis’ Ford and continued traveling east, veering off the road to the right, police said. The Lexus went down an embankment and overturned in a small body of water, state police said. The Ford also went off the road, striking a utility pole and landing in the middle of the road on its roof.
Bertulis was taken to Waterbury Hospital, where he died, police said. Berman, 67, died at the scene.
She and Chris Berman, one of the all-time most recognizable sports broadcasters, were together more than 30 years.
He joined ESPN at age 24, just one month after its founding.
In the ’80s, Chris faked car trouble for the opportunity to ask her for a date, the Courant’s Michael Arace wrote in 1993.
They were married in 1983, when Katherine, a University of Connecticut graduate, was a fourth-grade teacher in Waterbury, according to their wedding announcement in the New York Times.
She worked “tirelessly” to overcome illiteracy in the greater Waterbury area, Molly Qerim, ESPN’s “First Take” host and a fellow UConn graduate, said on ESPN Wednesday morning.