Longtime Bay Area Reporter Dies

A longtime Oakland Tribune reporter who was hit by a train in San  Francisco earlier this month died this morning at San Francisco General  Hospital, according to the medical examiner's office.
William Brand, 70, had retired from full-time work late last year  but still wrote a beer column for the newspaper. He was struck by a San  Francisco Municipal Railway N-Judah train at Second and King streets at about  9:10 p.m. on Feb. 8.

San Francisco police Sgt. Wilfred Williams said Brand was walking  south on Second Street when he was hit. He said the intersection is  controlled by stoplights.

Williams said the cause of the accident is under investigation,  but he added that his department's policy is normally not to comment on the  cause of Muni accidents or disclose who was at fault.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic outcome of this accident,"  said Nathaniel Ford Sr., executive director of the San Francisco Municipal  Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, in a prepared statement. "On  behalf of the SFMTA, I offer our sincerest condolences to his family and  friends."

According to colleagues at the Tribune, Brand was returning from a  food and beer-pairing event at the 21st Amendment Brewery on Second Street  when he was struck by the train.

Brand worked full-time for the Tribune for 27 years. Before that,  he worked at the Contra Costa Times and the Alameda Times-Star.

Tribune reporter Cecily Burt said Tuesday that she worked with  Brand for four years in the newspaper's Berkeley bureau.

Burt described Brand as "not only a longtime colleague of mine but  a good friend."

"Bill was very generous with his knowledge and contacts and always  great to work with," Burt said, describing him as "a devoted husband and  father."

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