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Family of Cal Poly student killed on Highway 101 pushes for safety improvements

Posted at 9:35 AM, Oct 15, 2018

When a Texas family dropped their son off for his freshman year of college at Cal Poly last month, they had no idea that the next time they’d visit San Luis Obispo would be to retrieve his casket.

Jordan Grant, 18, was driving his motorcycle on Highway 101 when an oncoming vehicle made an unsafe turn off El Campo, striking Grant.

Now, Grant’s family is pushing for safety improvements to this section of road, starting up a petition on that had nearly 2,600 supporters by Sunday.

“My son was in the inside lane and the person decided to guess,” Grant’s father, James, said. “They said ‘I can beat this RV, I don’t know what’s on the other side of the RV. There’s probably nothing there.’ But they were wrong. My son was on the other side.”

At the El Campo crossing of Highway 101 south near Arroyo Grande, Jordan Grant died from his injuries.

Jordan’s sister, Nicole, honored her brother’s memory Wednesday at an emotional memorial on Cal Poly Campus.

“Jordan was an amazing person, he truly was the happiest kid I knew,” Nicole Grant said.

For Jordan Grant’s family, his memory is not comforting enough. They want to help Jordan to leave behind a legacy.

“Jordan was always taking care of other people, his friends, and I know with certainty that if one of his friends was hurt at that intersection, he wouldn’t rest until he had the danger removed,” James Grant said.

James Grant’s petition calls the section of road where his son died a “death trap.”

“It is only a matter of time before another family’s loved one is needlessly killed in this death trap,” James Grant states in the petition.

Cal Trans said in a statement that it’s working to consider solutions to improve safety at the Highway 101/ El Campo intersection, but did not elaborate on what changes are being considered.

Following discussion with residents of the area, as well as Jordan Grant’s friends, James Grant now suggests adding an acceleration lane to the southbound lane and blocking access to the northbound lane from El Campo Road.

He said he wants to make a difference, just like he told his son to do in a letter he gave him during welcome week.

“Off the cuff, I said ‘here son, here’s my list of things I want you to do,'” James Grant recalled. “The first thing was ‘have fun, go to class,’ fatherly things to tell your son to do. But in that list, number seven or eight was ‘make SLO a better place for you being there. Give back to the community.’ And you know, because he died, I said, he can’t do it and I will. So I’m going to finish what I told him to do.”

James Grant said he has already spoken with the dean of Cal Poly about a plan to hire student engineers to complete risk analysis and come up with designs to improve safety not just in the intersection where his son was killed, but in all dangerous sections of roadway across the County.

James Grant said he plans to return to San Luis Obispo to make sure real change is made.