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SLOStringer remembered for ‘self-sacrifice’ at Highway 101 memorial dedication

Section of Highway 101 dedicated to SLOStringer

A sign naming a portion of Highway 101 in the memory of Matthew Frank, SLOStringer was dedicated today. Hundreds of his friends, family and fans gathered at the Madonna Meadow to hear his parents and others speak.
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A sign naming a portion of Highway 101 in the memory of Matthew Frank, SLOStringer was dedicated today. Hundreds of his friends, family and fans gathered at the Madonna Meadow to hear his parents and others speak.

Drivers taking in the ocean views along Highway 101 in Shell Beach will be reminded of Matthew “SLOStringer” Frank, whose roadside sign was dedicated at a Friday ceremony.

Frank, 30, was a fixture on San Luis Obispo County social media, where he posted updates and photos on breaking news and first-responder efforts for his thousands of followers.

Frank died early March 21, 2017, while traveling to a structure fire in Atascadero, The Tribune reported then. Frank’s vehicle veered off Highway 101 near Santa Margarita and then crashed into a tree and caught fire.

Following Frank’s death, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham introduced a resolution to name part of Highway 101 after the late community icon.

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Hundreds gathered at Madonna Meadow in San Luis Obispo for a ceremony on Friday, November 2, 2018, dedicating a portion of Highway 101 in memory of Matthew Frank, who posted breaking public safety information online as SLOStringer. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The resolution passed in August, and the sign unveiled on Friday — which reads “Matthew Frank ‘SLOStringer’ Memorial Highway” — will be installed on a stretch of road between Avila Beach Drive and Spyglass Drive in Pismo Beach.

The dedication ceremony, held at Madonna Meadows in San Luis Obispo, drew hundreds of community members, public officials and first responders. Fire trucks, helicopters and other emergency vehicles lined the grassy field in tribute to Frank.

Before the new sign was displayed, Cunningham, county Supervisor Debbie Arnold, Frank’s parents and public safety officials paid tribute to him.

“Matt Frank stands as a symbol of self-sacrifice and putting our community first,” Cunningham said. “He helped others not for money, not for attention — because it was the right thing to do. He did it because he loved people and he loved our community.”

Steve Frank, Matthew Frank’s father, said he and his wife are grateful for the memorial to their son, although he would probably dislike all the attention.

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“At today’s standards, over 10,000 vehicles (daily) are going to be driving by both signs with our son’s name on it,” Frank said. “Memorializing him and the way he lived his life.”

Jacquelyn Frank, Matthew Frank’s mother, read comments from the SLOStringer Facebook page and letters that Cunningham’s office received in support of his resolution.

During Frank’s remarks, a CHP helicopter — Matthew Frank’s favorite vehicle — lifted off to head back on duty, drawing oohs and aahs from the crowd.

“It was my biggest joy and greatest honor to be his mother and to call him my son,” Jacquelyn Frank said. “He was my heart.”

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseymholden
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