Chris Berman on the Moment He Learned of His Wife's Death, and the Excruciating Task of Telling His Children
Chris Berman was at a New York Mets game when he learned that his wife, Kathy Berman, had died in a car accident in Connecticut
It’s been more than four months since Chris Berman lost his wife in a car accident, but the legendary ESPN sportscaster is still able to recall the moment when he first got the heartbreaking news — and then his struggle to tell his children.
Berman, 62, was preparing to watch the New York Mets take on the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on May 9 when he found out his wife of 33 years, Kathy, had died in a two-car collision in Connecticut. The accident occurred one day before his birthday.
“I got a troubling call right around the start of the game,” Berman recalled during a Wednesday interview on Adam Schefter’s Know Them From Adam podcast. “I was still downstairs in the Giants’ locker room and no one really could say, but at that point I knew it was something really bad.”
He added: “I knew it pertained to Kathy and I had a feeling it was a car accident. I didn’t know how bad, but I knew it was bad.”
Kathy, 67, was near the town of Woodbury when her vehicle struck a car traveling in the same direction on a two-lane road, ABC News reported. Kathy’s car went down an embankment and overturned in a body of water, while the other driver’s vehicle struck a utility pole, ultimately landing upside down on the street.
“She went to lunch with her sister and then never made it home,” Berman told Schefter.
The driver of the other car involved in the incident, 87-year-old Edward Bertulis, also died.
Berman said that after making a call to find out what happened, he returned to his seat where his son, Doug, and Doug’s then-fiancée met him with birthday cards, hot dogs and beer.
“I didn’t say anything. Obviously, I was in a state of shock,” the ESPN legend said. “I just kind of wanted them to know I appreciated what they were doing. Then about another inning, I said, ‘We have to take a walk down below.’ “
He told the pair and then called his daughter, Meredith.
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“Oddly enough, being in New York with them — I was with them, which I’m normally not other than a holiday or something,” he said. “We all came home to Connecticut so that was surreal.”
He said breaking such sad news to his children is something he wouldn’t wish on anyone.
“It’s something that I hope that nobody who is a parent ever has to tell their children,” he told Schefter. “There’s no book on that. It’s only been, it’s just four months, four-and-a-half months. It’s still pretty fresh.”
Berman said he is determined to count his blessings, noting that son Doug’s wedding still took place just weeks after the death.
He also said he has long been grateful for his family’s good fortune.
“I’ve been very blessed and our family’s been very blessed,” he said. “I always wondered why the grenades never landed right near us.”