A three-month investigation conducted by the San Luis Obispo Police Department led to the arrest of a 24-year-old for the Nov. 21 hit-and-run deaths of former Ceres High School football coach Matt Chachere, 39, and his girlfriend, Jennifer Besser, 36, and their dog.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office charged Daniel Angel Saligan Patricio, 24, of San Luis Obispo with two felony charges of vehicular manslaughter on Feb. 27. Saligan Patricio allegedly struck and killed Chachere and Besser with his car on Nov. 21 as they were walking their dog. Released from custody last Wednesday, Saligan Patricio is required to wear an ankle monitor until his trial starts.
Judge Craig van Rooyen released Saligan Patricio from custody last week under orders to wear an ankle monitor, surrender his driver’s license, refrain from drinking alcohol or going anywhere that sells alcohol, and follow probation requirements.
The bodies of Chachere and Besser were found in a creek bed near the intersection of Sacramento Drive and Basil Lane on Nov. 22.
“SLOPD is committed to the thorough completion of all investigations,” said Police Chief Rick Scott said. “We appreciate the patience of the community while we worked towards providing important answers to family members and our community in ultimate pursuit of justice. We have been in close communication and supported the families of the victims throughout this difficult process and hope that they get the justice they seek and the closure they need.”
The police investigation concluded that in the early evening hours on Nov. 21 Saligan Patricio sped through a curve near the 3400 block of Sacramento Drive, lost control of the vehicle and struck the couple and their dog, a curb, street sign and bridge. Police estimate that he was speeding at 60 mph in a 25 mph speed limit.
The investigative reports indicate that the force of the impact of the collision knocked the couple into the adjacent wooded area and down into a dry creek bed where they remained undetected in the darkness and vegetation. When officers arrived at the scene of the accident, Saligan Patricio either did not know or failed to notify police that he may have struck two people and a dog. The couple was found under heavy brush near the accident location late the next day after family reported them missing.
Chachere envisioned rebuilding Ceres High’s football program when he was hired in March of 2018.
Chachere’s stint as leader of the Bulldogs lasted two seasons in 2018 and 2019. He previously coached at Grace Davis, Beyer, Connecticut’s United States Coast Guard Academy, Princeton High School and San Luis Obispo High School.