Cal Poly student killed in Highway 101 crash days before she was going to graduate

A Cal Poly student who was just days away from graduating has been apparently identified as one of the two people killed in an early-morning wrong-way crash on Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday.

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong and Vice President Keith Humphrey confirmed the death of Nicole Scalone of Bellevue, Washington, Wednesday evening in a letter to the campus community.

“We are heartbroken to report that one of our students, Nicole Scalone, passed away early this morning in a car accident,” the email read. “The university is in contact with her family to offer our support, and our thoughts are with them and Nicole’s friends during this difficult time.”

The CHP has not yet identified Scalone but said a 22-year-old woman from Bellevue, Washington, was driving south on northbound Highway 101 in the No. 1 lane near Higuera Street when she collided head on with a car driven by a 43-year-old man from Los Osos. Both drivers died as a result of the crash.

The CHP has not identified the other driver either and is currently investigating the collision. As of early Wednesday morning, the agency said it did not yet know if distracted driving, drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.

A Cal Poly spokesman declined to confirm Scalone’s involvement in a specific crash, citing CHP jurisdiction.

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About to graduate

According to the Cal Poly email, Scalone was a fourth-year business administration student, with a concentration in information systems.

She was expected to graduate this weekend. Her degree will be awarded to her posthumously, the school said.

In their email to campus, Cal Poly officials said Scalone studied abroad in Italy in 2017 and participated in Orfalea College of Business’s Peer Mentoring program, as well as the Cal Poly Women in Business Association.

Counseling services are available to Cal Poly students, employees and their families.

“Please know that we care about each of you,” Armstrong and Humphrey concluded the letter.

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Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.