A Good Samaritan killed early Monday morning after stopping to help a crash victim along Highway 101 in Paso Robles was a Cal Poly employee.
The university sent an email to students and staff Monday informing them that Monica Cantu, a senior facilities custodial manager, was killed after being hit by a van that lost control in debris from an earlier crash involving a wrong-way driver.
“Those of you who know Monica will not be surprised that her first instinct was to stop and help another person in need,” the email stated. “Putting others first was central to Monica’s values and speaks volumes about her character. We are shocked and deeply saddened by today’s news, and our thoughts are with Monica’s family, friends and coworkers at this difficult time.”
Cantu, 55, of Paso Robles was reportedly hired in December 2012 to oversee custodial services and was involved in the planning and cleanup of many events on campus, including commencement and open house.
“Monica was committed to providing exceptional service for staff, faculty and students, and she was known for frequently working long shifts in support of her custodial staff. She was recognized in 2017 with the Outstanding Staff Award for her hard work, fairness, accountability and compassion while overseeing one of the largest departments on campus,” the university said.
Her family and friends tell KSBY Cantu had a love of all animals.
Counseling services are being made available to Cal Poly employees and their families. A 24-hour support hotline is available at (800) 367-7474.