Cal Poly student was ‘over the top’ drunk in fatal wrong-way collision, CHP says

A woman days away from graduating from Cal Poly had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit when she drove head-on into another car, killing herself and another driver, CHP officials said Thursday.

Nicole Annalise Scalone, 22, had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, triple the legal limit of 0.08, when the collision occurred in the early hours of June 12, the CHP told The Tribune.

A CHP spokesman said Scalone’s toxicology results were returned to investigators Thursday, noting that her blood alcohol content was “over the top” and would have resulted in DUI charges of driving while intoxicated had she survived.

According to the CHP, Scalone was traveling southbound in a northbound lane on Highway 101 near Higuera Street just after 2:30 a.m. June 12 when she crashed head on into another car driven by Anthony Au of Los Osos.

Both Scalone and Au, 43, died as a result of the crash.

Au was driving to the sheriff’s Honor Farm, where he worked as a cook, when the collision happened.

The father of two boys was remembered by friends as a “really well-liked, kind-hearted guy” by his boss, Correctional Lt. Stephanie Landgraf, who oversees Honor Farm kitchen staff.

“His work was sincere,” Landgraf told The Tribune in June. “You could see that.”

Scalone, a resident of Bellevue, Washington, was about to graduate from Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business with a degree in business administration and a concentration in information systems, Cal Poly said at the time. Her degree was awarded posthumously.

After the crash, Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong and Vice President Keith Humphrey sent an email to the campus community mourning Scalone’s death.

“We are heartbroken to report that one of our students, Nicole Scalone, passed away early this morning in a car accident,” the email said. “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.”

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Monica Vaughan reports on health, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo County, oil and wildlife at The Tribune. She previously covered crime and justice in the Sacramento Valley, is a graduate of the University of Oregon journalism school and is a sixth-generation Californian. Have an idea for a story? Email: