The Los Osos woman killed in an early Wednesday morning head-on collision allegedly caused by an impaired driver traveling the wrong way on Highway 101 was a kind-hearted person whom others were naturally drawn to in the medical office where she worked, her employer said Thursday.
Lindsay Faye Matzie, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, and three others — her two passengers and the woman facing possible DUI and vehicular manslaughter charges — remained in serious-to-critical condition at area hospitals Thursday evening.
Matzie, a 2007 graduate of Morro Bay High School, was driving southbound on Highway 101 at about 3:10 a.m. Wednesday near the Spring Street off-ramp when her Toyota sedan was struck head-on by a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction and driven by Lauren Allysa Aldrete, 22, of Paso Robles, the CHP said.
On Thursday, Matzie’s family, friends and well-wishers took to social media to share condolences and memories of the woman with an “infectious smile, (and) even more infectious laugh.”
She was just an absolutely beautiful young lady in every way a person could be beautiful.
Dr. Brian Roberts, medical director at Med Stop Urgent Care Center in San Luis Obispo
Dr. Brian Roberts, medical director at Med Stop Urgent Care Center in San Luis Obispo, told The Tribune that Matzie had worked at the facility’s office for nearly two years. He said no praise would be strong enough in describing Matzie.
“She was just an absolutely beautiful young lady in every way a person could be beautiful,” Roberts said. “She drew (people) in with a quiet compassion and kindness that she simply exuded.”
Roberts said in the time she worked in the office, he never knew a patient or member of the staff who “didn’t feel that personal connection” she seemed to make effortlessly. He said she handled high-stress situations with patients suffering serious pain and medical issues without ever losing her cool.
“And that has to be that caring, that kindness and that compassion she had,” Roberts said. “You might argue she was the best medicine we’ve ever provided here.”
Although Matzie’s colleagues confront difficult situations every day, he said, it’s been especially painful to deal with the loss of one of their own.
“In health care, you can deal with this professionally for (the sake of the patients),” he said. “When it’s someone you personally loved, it makes it so much harder.”
Matzie’s two passengers remained in area hospitals’ intensive care units Thursday.
Rotsen Y. Victoriano, 29, of San Luis Obispo, who was sitting in the front passenger seat during the crash, was listed in critical condition at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo as of Thursday afternoon. Ken A. Cordova, 26, of Atascadero, was seated in the rear passenger seat without a seat belt, the CHP said, and was listed in serious condition at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, according to Tenet Healthcare spokesman Ron Yukelson.
Aldrete remained in critical condition at the Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, spokeswoman Jennifer Avila-Allen confirmed Thursday afternoon.
The CHP said that Aldrete was placed under arrest before her transfer to Fresno but would not be booked into custody due to the extent of her injuries.