SLO driver accused of drinking before hitting and killing couple

March 1, 2023

Jennifer Besser and Matthew Chachere


The 24-year-old San Luis Obispo resident who allegedly killed a couple and their dog was drinking prior to the fatal accident, a prosecutor said during a court hearing on Wednesday.

Daniel Saligan Patricio, 24, was allegedly driving 60 mph in a 25 mph zone on Nov. 21 on Sacramento Drive when he lost control of his car on a curve. The car struck Matthew Chachere, 39, and Jennifer Besser, 36. Their bodies, which were lying in heavy brush, were not found until a day after the crash.

Officers, who did not suspect the driver of alcohol impairment, had the car towed and wrote out a traffic collision report. They did not check Saligan Patricio for alcohol impairment.

After a three month investigation, SLO police officers arrested Saligan Patricio on Feb. 27 on two counts of felony vehicular manslaughter and booked him in the SLO County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Saligan Patricio’s attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu argued his client did not have the money to pay the bond.

The prosecutor asked the court to keep the bail at $200,000, noting that Saligan Patricio was reading texts before the crash and that he had been drinking earlier in the day.

SLO County Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen released Saligan Patricio on his own recognizance on Wednesday under the conditions that he wear an ankle monitor, not use or possess alcohol, be supervised by the probation department and submit to random drug and alcohol testing.

He is slated to return to court on March 22.

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When did justice become an afterthought in our justice system?….

Releasing this killer of 2 people and their dog on his own recognizance is ludicrous.

Again; if a citizen is respectful, cooperative, and not obviously slurring their words, they are free to go. The officers could have very well been called away for a more urgent emergency.

Have some perspective people!

“The officers could have very well been called away for a more urgent emergency.”

…and pigs could have flown by.

the LEO’s obviously failed to protect the public.

What and oblivious stance; it’s called emergency services for a reason. No clue what it takes to actually “protect the public”. Do me a favor. Spend 20 minutes on Youtube with Live PD search results. Your tune will change.

Agree completely.

His bail was set high due to the charges. But apparently former District Attorney Craig Van Rooyen doesn’t get this. Can’t pay the bail, even though you were driving a Tesla and you can hire your own expensive defense attorney? OK, no problem, just behave yourself and go your merry way. No bail necessary. Sorry for the inconvenience.

And here is what his defense attorney Funke-Bilu will no doubt argue: he is a model citizen, so sorry for what happened, he hasn’t messed up his terms of release, so he really shouldn’t be held in jail or prison costing taxpayers a lot of money. Give him probation and we can all go home.

Van Rooyen really messed up this time! He just handed a huge win to the defense. It is positively shameful for a former DA to do this.

He doesn’t have money for bail but he hired Funke-Bilu.

Ilan has to be doing this pro bono or as close to it as imaginable. He’s great at what he does thus this young man will be able to take advantage of all the cops did not do right. All this likely at the expense of the family likely feeling the man responsible for the demise of their loved one will get what he deserves.

Unfortunately I have to agree. As much as I dislike this lawyer, he is the one you’d hire in a situation like this. I doubt his is getting paid his regular fee.

My thoughts exactly!

So many things I wonder:

1) is this guy the luckiest sob cause he’ll likely get away w this ? How can they prove he knew he hit ppl?

2) are the cops just inept here? Two humans, a dog, all at different heights hit the car in different places and no observation of blood, biological anything, dents that reflect this until over a day later they’re found under heavy brush?

3) do victims of cars that get thrown in the air fall *under* heavy brush?

No conspiracies here, not making any claims just looking to explore some ideas here. This story has gone a while with little or no developments.

Much love for the family and friends missing these poor victims.

The officers did not check for alcohol impairment? Fire them immediately.

“Fire them immediately”? Ridiculous. Sober people have accidents too. Go too fast and anyone will “spin” through a 90 degree turn and lose control, it does happen. If a citizen is respectful, cooperative, and not obviously slurring their words, they are free to go. Probably considered a good interaction. Officers had no reason to assume someone was hit let alone go into the creek bed searching. It was one call throughout the day that seemed innocent enough at the time.

Quit calling for peoples heads!

Lets see the body cam footage from all officers, this will show us the behavior of the driver and officers. Now if there is no footage because officers didn’t have their cameras on, yes fire them, any officer that doesn’t turn on his camera when there is an accident should get one reprimand, with at least a 90 day unpaid suspension and on the second offense, fired.