Cal Poly student mourned by family, friends

Friends and family Tuesday remembered the 21-year-old Cal Poly student who died April 4 after being struck by a truck on Highway 101.

A memorial for Matthew Hurlbutt was held in a packed Philips Hall auditorium on campus.

Friends described Hurlbutt, an industrial engineering student who worked as a checker at Albertsons on Foothill Boulevard, as enthusiastic, energetic and sociable.

“He could talk to everybody,” said Kelly Meehan, a 21-year-old co-worker and friend. “We’re all close at work; we hang out outside of the store. He loved his friends.”

Friends remembered joyous moments in his rough riding Chevy truck, making tacos and cookies, and Hurlbutt’s love for tri-tip sandwiches from Firestone’s.

Photos showed a beaming Hurlbutt with friends at the beach, one of him holding a pet cat, and his graduation from Upland High School.

His father, Lee Hurlbutt, said his son embraced the San Luis Obispo community and enjoyed Cal Poly.

Friend Andrew Dettorre, a third-year history student said, “No matter how long of a day it was, or how hard work might have been, Matt would brighten things up.”

Hurlbutt was struck and killed around 1 a.m. April 4 by a 2002 Toyota Tacoma. His state of possible impairment is unknown; alcohol is suspected, and a toxicology test is pending, CHP officials said.

“We love you, Matt,” a sign at Philips Hall with the young man’s photo read.

Counselors at Hospice of San Luis Obispo County said they’re available at no charge for those grieving.