The news of her death shook the ESPN community and drew “an outpouring of love and sympathy” from around the sports world, according to the Berman family.
“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,” Berman and the couple’s two children said in a statement released by ESPN later Wednesday. “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.”
Police were investigating whether Bertulis may have suffered a medical emergency just before Berman’s car crashed into the back of his on Route 64 near Tuttle Road, a state police source told the Courant. Bertulis’ daughter, Nancy, told the Courant that her father, whom she said was healthy, had just been to the cemetery to visit the grave of his wife, who died in 2015, when the crash occurred. “This is a difficult time for both families,” Nancy Bertulis said on behalf of her siblings in a statement. “We would appreciate our privacy as we grieve our loss. My father was healthy and happy and drove the speed limit. He was coming from the cemetery, where he went every day to visit my mother. He had five children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.”
Kathy Berman was a former teacher who had been married to Chris for more than 33 years and the couple had two children, Meredith and Doug. Berman was attending the New York Mets’ game against his beloved San Francisco Giants at Citi Field when New York police told him of the accident.
“This is a devastating tragedy and 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,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement. “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.”
Chris Berman joined ESPN in 1979 and stepped down as a host of ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” in January after 31 seasons. He remains under contract with the Bristol, Conn.-based network.
In a lengthy 1993 interview with the Courant, Berman recalled how he faked car trouble just so he’d have the chance to ask the former Kathy Alexinski, a fourth-grade teacher at the time, for help and then a breakfast date. Ten years after that date, the story related that the Bermans “have a very, very, very fine house in Cheshire,” in a nod to Berman’s love of rock music. “They swim with the kids in the pool and play street hockey in the driveway. They crank the tunes.”