SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY – A year ago, Matthew Frank, known as the SLOStringer, was on his way to cover a house fire in Atascadero during a rainstorm when he lost control of his Chevrolet Tahoe on Highway 101 near Santa Margarita and hit a tree, causing his vehicle to burst into flames. Frank, 30, passed away at the scene.
Frank was passionate about covering emergency events and giving the public an up-close look at the work of first responders. Some members of the public said he was like Batman — he was everywhere. A bat symbol sits at a memorial at the crash site, a fitting symbol of his superhero status.
Even though he didn’t work for any news agency, he kept many informed on his SLOStringer Facebook and Twitter pages and his updates and posts are missed by many in San Luis Obispo County.
A memorial ride was organized last year for Frank’s funeral and made its way through most of the county. First responders and members of the community came out in droves for Frank’s final send-off.
The Matthew Frank Memorial Ride and BBQ will take place again this Sunday, March 25, with riders meeting at 10 a.m. at 787 Francis Ave. in San Luis Obispo. The ride is open to the public and will begin at 11 a.m. and cover 80 miles and will end at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo. A barbecue will be available for purchase from 1 to 3 p.m. Proceeds will go toward Matt’s memorial fund.
“While the emotions surrounding this loss are still raw for some, for others this year has been a practice in gratitude, reminding us daily us to thank those in our lives who provide positive impacts no matter how big or small,” Bubba Murphy, memorial ride organizer said about Frank and the ride on the memorial event page. “Much of Matt's work was behind the scenes, and behind a lens, but his contributions leave a lasting impression on anyone who had the opportunity to work with him. Matt's memory provides a beautiful opportunity for us to come together as a community and carry out his spirit of helpfulness and of course, his love for motorcycles.”