Jordan Grant had a smile that was downright contagious.
The 18-year-old Cal Poly freshman was known to family and friends as a dependable, kindhearted and caring person who was always laughing about something.
“He truly was the happiest kid I knew,” Jordan’s younger sister, Nicole, said Wednesday evening during a celebration of life memorial service held at the University Union Plaza on Cal Poly’s campus.
An outpouring of students, faculty, friends and family gathered together in remembrance of Grant, a first-year computer engineering student who was killed in a motorcycle crash Sunday near Arroyo Grande.
Grant, a native of Plano, Texas, was driving his 2015 Yamaha motorcycle on Highway 101 when a 2018 BMW was “in the process of making an unsafe left turn” directly in front of Grant, according to California Highway Patrol.
Grant reportedly slid into the left side of the BMW and was fatally injured, the CHP said.
Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong announced the news of Grant’s death in a campus-wide email Tuesday morning.
“We are deeply saddened by this news and our thoughts are with Jordan’s family and friends during this very difficult time,” Armstrong said in the email.
Grant’s parents, sister and friends from high school made the trip from Texas to attend Wednesday’s memorial.
Nicole said she could always count on Jordan, whose smile was “the biggest and brightest one I’ve ever seen.”
“He was my hero, my best friend, my person to look up to, and now my angel,” Nicole said.
Tommy and Kevin, Jordan’s dorm roommates at Cal Poly for the past three weeks whose last names were not provided at the ceremony, said the group clicked immediately.
Tommy said Jordan “was always passionate about anything he does” — even when that meant microwaving lava cakes at 1 a.m.
“Jordan always had this infectious smile,” Tommy said. “I’m sure he was a bright light for many years. He was going to do so much good in this world.”
Joel Drenckpohl, a pastor at nearby Front Porch church, encouraged those in attendance to honor Jordan’s life through love and kindness toward other people.
“May we honor his memory through embracing this present moment right here,” Drenckpohl said. “Look around you at the people you’re sitting next to. These moments, these people, they are all we have. This is all we have. This is the life we have been given, and it comes with great joys as well as great sorrows.”
Counseling services are available for Cal Poly students by calling 805-756-2511. The Employee Assistance Program also provides confidential counseling services to all Cal Poly employees and their families through a 24-hour support hotline at 800-367-7474.
Correction: This story has been corrected to reflect the church in which Joel Drenckpohl is associated.