Car crash on June 29 outside of Templeton, kills four local youths
The four young people who died in a car crash outside of Templeton on June 29 were friends “who touched many lives.”
At approximately 9:23 p.m. June 29, Kegin Dakota York, 22, of Creston, according to the California High Patrol, was driving his 2007 Infiniti G35 sedan too fast on the backroads east of Templeton and lost control. The car left Neal Spring Road and slammed into an old oak tree, killing Kegin and his three friends in the car — Shelby Lynn Biaggini, 23, Taylan Elaine Perez, 22, and Karen Montes-Cabrera, 21.
Kegin and Shelby worked together for a short time at 15 degrees C Wine Shop and Bar in Templeton.
“Kegin and Shelby were extremely friendly, outgoing, happy people who touched many lives,” said 15 degrees C owner Ali Carscaden. “They were a joy to have at work and quickly became friends with everyone.
“The weight of their passing is something that affected the entire staff, as well as customers,” she added.
Kegin worked at 15 degrees C for the past year, while Shelby started there in 2020 after moving back to North County from Bend, Ore.
Carscaden said Kegin loved children and animals.
“Whenever my son was here, he would play with him and encourage him to do tricks on his bike and scooter,” Carscaden said. “Kegin’s middle name is Dakota and my dog’s name is Dakota. He would always play with her and ask if he could take her to the park for a walk.”
Shelby and Karen worked together at Joebella Coffee Roasters of Atascadero. They were scheduled to work Tuesday, June 30, said owner Joseph Gerardis.
Karen, of Paso Robles, started working at Joebella when she was 18. She quickly became a popular barista.
“She was the barista that was the shining star,” Gerardis said. “Everybody liked her. She was really steady. Her big thing was being positive and she wanted people to have a positive experience. She tried to brighten people’s lives each day.”
Earlier this year, Karen talked with Gerardis about wanting to work on a farm in a foreign country.
“She showed me her plans,” Gerardis said. “She was going to work on a farm in Spain and was planning to leave in April, but COVID hit and she had to put that on hold.”
With her plan stalled by COVID-19, Karen was going to work the upcoming wine harvest for Niner Wine Estates, said Gerardis.
Shelby was a relative newcomer to Joebella and was blossoming as a barista.
“She grew into the role of a barista. She was a little shy at first,” Gerardis said. “She was for lack of a better word, a real spitfire, a go-getter. She had initiative. She was willing to take things on.
“We definitely had great plans for her,” he added.
Taylan, of Paso Robles, had big plans for the future, said sister Cameron Ayala-Perez.
“She had a love for wine and adventure, which she combined the two earlier this year and traveled to New Zealand to work abroad at a winery,” Ayala-Perez said. “She made friends wherever she went and always surrounded herself with those that made her laugh.”
Her sister said Taylan was a “free soul,” who had a knack for making people laugh.
“She was kind-hearted, courageous, spontaneous, and cared for others like no other,” Ayala-Perez said. “Her presence would change your mood and put the biggest smile on your face. She would make us laugh with her goofy personality. Taylan taught everyone to be yourself and to not take notice of what others thought of you.”
Family and friends have come together to offer support, both financially and emotionally, since the accident occurred. “Go Fund Me” accounts for each of them has raised almost a hundred thousand dollars for their families, all donated by our community members.
As one community member shared, “This is why our community never ceases to amaze me, so much love in a time of crisis. This is such a tragedy for the four families who lost a child last night, two of whom worked at one of our favorite Main St. businesses. Amazing to see everyone come together to help them through this unimaginable time.”
Memorial services are scheduled individually, starting this week.
If you would like to share some of your memories of Kegin, Shelby, Karen, or Taylan, you can write a letter to the editor and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.