WOODBURY, Conn. (AP) _ The wife of longtime ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman died in a traffic crash in Connecticut, the sports network’s president confirmed Wednesday.
Katherine Ann Berman, 67, a teacher, was one of two victims in the two-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon in Woodbury, state police said. The other victim was identified by police as Edward Bertulis, 87, of Waterbury.
“This is a devastating tragedy and difficult to comprehend,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement. “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. 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.”
The Bermans have been married more than 33 years and have two adult children, Meredith and Doug. Chris Berman and his children released a statement Wednesday night.
“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and sympathy from so many folks we know, and so many others we look forward to knowing,” the statement said. “Kathy Berman had a huge heart, and this would have warmed hers beyond belief. It certainly warmed ours. All of us need to keep the family of Edward Bertulis in our thoughts and prayers as well.
According to the police account of the crash, both vehicles were traveling in the same direction on a two-lane road when Kathy Berman’s car struck the rear of Bertulis’ SUV, and both veered off the road.
Berman’s Lexus went down an embankment and overturned in a small body of water. Chris Berman was listed as the car’s owner.
Bertulis’ Ford Escape struck a utility pole and landed on its roof in the street.
Berman, who was wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at the scene. Bertulis, who was not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Woodbury is not far from the Bermans’ home in Cheshire, and ESPN headquarters in Bristol.
According to a profile of the family that appeared in the Hartford Courant in 1993, Chris Berman met the former Kathy Alexinski in 1983.
Chris Berman, who turned 62 Wednesday, is a Brown University graduate who started working at ESPN in October 1979, a month after its founding.
He stepped down as host of “Sunday NFL Countdown” after 31 seasons in January but remains with the network in an updated role after signing a new contract.