SLO Man Pleads Guilty in Fatal Crash

Written by Estero Bay News

March 1, 2024

Daniel Angel Saligan Patricio of San Luis Obispo pled guilty to two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter in the 2022 deaths of a young, SLO couple and their dog, Buddy.

A San Luis Obispo man has pled guilty to manslaughter after he ran over and killed two people and their pet dog out walking in SLO. The District Attorney’s Office announced Feb. 20 that Daniel Angel Saligan Patricio, 25 of SLO, faces a maximum of sevenyears in State Prison for the Nov. 21, 2022 deaths of pedestrians Matthew Ernest Chachere, 39, and Jennifer Ann Besser, 36, and their dog, Buddy.

It was shortly after 5:30 p.m. that day when Saligan Patricio reportedly was driving his vehicle fast, over 90 mph, on Sacramento Drive in SLO. He failed to make a “nearly 90-degree turn,” the D.A.’s announcement said, and struck the couple and their dog, killing them. The two came to rest in thick bushes at Sacramento Drive and Basil Lane, and it was a day later before they were discovered, after someone reported a dead dog lying in a creek.

According to a news report, the couple had been together 11 years and worked for E&J Gallo Wineries, having only recently moved to SLO County form the Modesto Area. It was family members in Modesto who notified police when they failed to arrive there for a family gathering.

According to a news report, the SLOPD officer who investigated the matter said that Saligan Patricio had admitted to drinking alcohol that day and was texting while driving when he hit the two. The vehicle’s GPS indicated his speed at 61 mph when the accident occurred, having slowed down for the curve. Sacramento Drive is an industrial area running parallel to and a block over from Broad Street.

Saligan Patricio initially fled the scene of the accident but was tracked down and arrested by SLOPD. 

He pled guilty to two counts of “gross vehicular manslaughter,” the D.A. said, “both are felonies.”

The plea came with no deal on sentencing and the D.A. said the judge, Michael S. Frye, has a lot of discretion when he sentences Saligan Patricio on April 9. “Because there was no agreement on a sentence, the judge has wide discretion in imposing a sentence, which can range from a period of probation to the maximum term of 7 years and 4 months in prison.”

The prosecution alleged numerous factors involved in the crimes that could come into play during sentencing, including that he was a previously convicted felon who served some prison time; was on active probation at the time; and acted with gross negligence, among several others.

It will up to the judge on whether any of the enhancements alleged apply, when handing down a sentence. According to the news report, Judge Frye indicated he would wait for the Probation Department’s report on sentencing before making a decision on the enhancements.

The two manslaughter charges count as two strikes under California’s Three Strikes Law.

The case was investigated by SLOPD and prosecuted by Dep. D.A. Danielle Baker.

 

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