Saliganpatricio lost control and collided with pedestrians Chachere and Besser, who were walking their dog, Buddy

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — The man responsible for the death of two pedestrians in San Luis Obispo in November 2022 has been sentenced. San Luis Obispo resident Daniel Angel Saliganpatricio, 25, has been sentenced to serve five years and four months in state prison.

The incident occurred on Nov. 21, 2022, shortly after 5:30 p.m., when Saliganpatricio accelerated his vehicle to an estimated 61 miles per hour on Sacramento Drive in San Luis Obispo as he approached a nearly 90-degree turn. 

The speed limit at the turn was posted as 20 miles per hour and there was no evidence that he hit the brakes prior to the turn. Saliganpatricio lost control and collided with pedestrians Matthew Ernest Chachere, 39, and Jennifer Ann Besser, 36, who were walking their dog, Buddy. Chachere, Besser, and Buddy were killed. The investigation revealed that Saliganpatricio had been reading text messages immediately before the deadly collision. 

Jenn and Matt Memorial Picture
A photo of Jenn Besser and Matt Chachere is shown at a memorial at the site where they, along with their dog, Buddy, were fatally struck by a motorist. Photo courtesy of SLO County District Attorney’s Office

In February, Saliganpatricio pleaded guilty to all the charged counts, without any agreement on what his sentence would be. His sentencing could have ranged from a period of probation to a maximum term of seven years and four months in prison.  

Superior Court Judge Michael S. Frye imposed the five-year, four-month sentence due to Saliganpatricio’s lack of criminal history and acceptance of responsibility before a trial.  

Several of Chachere’s and Besser’s family members provided statements to the court describing the couple as kind, thoughtful, and having a strong love for life and one another. Besser’s mother, Pati Blevins, provided the following insight into her daughter:

“Jenn was such a bright light, not only in my life, in the lives of everyone she met, everyone she knew. She was funny, intelligent, articulate, beautiful, kind, she was a really good person. When she met Matt, I knew she had found her person. Together, they lived a big, amazing life. They had created a healthy, active lifestyle and were always doing things together. San Luis Obispo offered them so much. It was the perfect area for them so when Matt got a job in the area in February 2022, they were excited to begin a new chapter. It wasn’t long before they had found gyms they loved, coffee houses to enjoy, good restaurants, beautiful hiking along the cliffs, dog friendly beaches for Buddy. Jenn was really excited to share everything they had found to do and see in the area when I visited. I had that opportunity in September and Jenn, Matt, and I packed so much into those 10 days together. It was one of the best trips. Jenn even wrote to her friends about what a great trip it had been. I received a thank you card from her when I got back home. That was who Jenn was. She appreciated everything and made sure she expressed that.”

Chachere’s mother, Linda Chachere, provided the following, description of her son:

“Matt was a resilient man with great humility and a kind, loving heart. He was extremely capable and was an uplifting and inspiring role model and leader. He acted with deep moral convictions and had an uplifting strong influence on all he met, worked alongside, and played. Matt was a bright light, but never wanted to outshine others. He cared for his family, friends, team, and coworkers in genuine and significant ways. The loss of his charming smile, huge laugh, boundless sense of humor, and positive attitude will leave a deep and profound void in our hearts and lives.”

The case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo Police Department and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Danielle Baker.