A growing memorial can be found on Sacramento Drive in San Luis Obispo — flowers, candles and a photo of a couple with bright smiles.
A stuffed animal hugs a message that reads “Jennifer, Matt, Buddy we love you and miss you.”
San Luis Obispo Police believe a speeding vehicle hit and killed 36-year-old Jennifer Besser, 39-year-old Matthew Chachere and their dog last week.
The incident occurred on Nov. 21, 2022, around 5:30 p.m. The bodies were not discovered until more than a day later.
Cal Poly confirmed Matthew Chachere graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He was also a Cal Poly football player from 2001 to 2005.
Former Cal Poly Coach Payam Saddat trained Chachere while he was a student.
“Matt was a wonderful guy with a great smile and he loved being part of the team and he was a standout on this team,” Saddat said.
According to their LinkedIn profiles, both Chachere and Besser worked for E. & J. Gallo Winery.
Chachere and Besser were supposed to meet with family in Modesto for the Thanksgiving holiday but never made it.
Chachere was a football coach at Ceres High School and later a defensive coordinator at Grace Davis High School in Modesto. His friend, Timmy Garcia, who is the athletic director and coach at Grace Davis, could not believe the news.
“We were looking forward to getting together for the holidays,” Garcia said. “He really had an impact on my life and the program here.”
On Tuesday, five family members stopped by the memorial visibly distraught. With tears in their eyes, they told KSBY it was their first time at the scene.
They hugged each other and with the help of San Luis Obispo Police, they tried to piece this puzzle together.
They told KSBY they do not have a comment at this time.
“Absolute pain thinking about that as a parent myself. They were a very supportive family. They were there, his mom and dad, were there for all the games. I can still remember the dad’s face and smile and joy watching his son, great man, you can’t help but feel pain for them,” Saddat said.
“Cal Poly is saddened by the tragic circumstances of Chachere’s passing, and our thoughts are with his loved ones during this difficult time,” Cal Poly spokesperson Matt Lazier said in a statement.
Based on the latest information provided by San Luis Obispo Police, the driver, a 24-year-old San Luis Obispo resident, has been cooperating with detectives.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the San Luis Obispo Police Department.