Ronald Arthur Kelsey, the 65-year-old San Luis Obispo man killed Tuesday while he was working under a motor home, was known for his willingness to help others and his positive way of looking forward.
Kelsey, known by friends and family a “Tuffy,” died of blunt force trauma after a Guadalupe man, Rene Rosas, 47, who was allegedly drunk, started the engine and drove over him.
Rosas claimed to be the owner of the motor home, but his name did not match the name on the registration, according to the Arroyo Grande Police Department.
The investigation into what happened is still ongoing.
Rosas was arrested and booked into County Jail on suspicion of felony drunken driving and gross vehicular manslaughter while drunk. Bail was set at $100,000.
Kelsey owned Tuffy’s Central Supply in Arroyo Grande since 1982 and repaired RVs in San Luis Obispo County for more than three decades.
“He helped people on the road with all different kinds of mechanical problems,” said John Turton, his stepson. “He wouldn’t back down on any project.”
Kelsey enjoyed racing cars and fishing for salmon. Before operating his business, he taught automotive repair at Arroyo Grande High School. He learned mechanics from his dad, said Turton, while working on buses in San Francisco.
He ran the Arroyo Grande RV repair shop alongside family and friends, including Turton.
“He had a way of picking out your talents,” said Turton.
UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff-Coroner's Office has identified the man who was killed yesterday in an Arroyo Grande RV repair facility. The man is Ronald Arthur Kelsey, 65, of San Luis Obispo. The autopsy performed today confirmed the cause of death as blunt force trauma.
UPDATE 8:15 p.m. Tuesday: A mechanic working under a motorhome was killed in Arroyo Grande Tuesday after an alleged drunk driver started its engine and drove over the man at a repair and storage business, according to police.
The 65-year-old San Luis Obispo man was working on the vehicle at a business off Brisco Road and Linda Drive about 3:15 p.m. when Rene Rosas, 47, of Guadalupe started the engine.
“For reasons yet to be confirmed, Rosas put the motorhome in motion,” according to a report by the Arroyo Grande Police Department.
When police arrived, they found several people performing CPR and other first aid on the mechanic. San Luis Ambulance medics took him to Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, where he was soon pronounced dead.
Police would not disclose the mechanic’s name — citing that it was being withheld by the county coroner’s office — or the name of the business.
Rosas was booked into County Jail on suspicion of felony drunken driving and gross vehicular manslaughter while drunk. He remained in custody as of late Tuesday in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Police notified the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the accident because it happened at a business.
A mechanic working under a motor home was killed in Arroyo Grande today when the vehicle slipped into gear and rolled over him, police said.
Police were called at 3:15 p.m. with a report that a person had been run over at a repair shop off Brisco Road.
People at the scene attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the man, and San Luis Ambulance paramedics rushed the mechanic to Arroyo Grande Community Hospital. But he was declared dead at the hospital.
The motor home he was working on was a Bounder, a popular brand of recreational vehicle.
Police had to notify next of kin and as a result the man’s identity was not being released yet.