Justin McCutcheon, 19, a San Luis Obispo High School graduate who redshirted on the Cal Poly golf team last fall, died early Aug. 9 after his Volkswagen Jetta collided with a Volvo trailer-truck on a Massachusetts interstate, according to Massachusetts State Police.
McCutcheon, son of former Cal Poly Athletics Director John McCutcheon, was driving south on northbound I-91 in Greenfield, Mass. at the time of the accident, said Massachusetts state trooper Kevin Wesoloski.
Before the incident, which occurred at 12:50 a.m., McCutcheon was also seen traveling north on southbound I-91, with his headlights off at various times, Wesoloski said.
The driver of the trailer-truck was uninjured, although the vehicle was totaled.
McCutcheon died at the scene.
Whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision remains under investigation.
McCutcheon, whose father has been the athletic director for University of Massachusetts since 2004, golfed for the San Luis Obispo High Tigers before enrolling in Cal Poly as an agricultural business major. In high school, McCutcheon was a varsity letter golfer and earned All Pac-5 honors four consecutive years.
After redshirting during his first year at Cal Poly, golf coach Scott Cartwright told
The San Luia Obispo Tribune he did not expect McCutcheon to return for his sophomore year.
“I think he was going in another direction, trying to get into the golf business and working at golf courses,” Cartwright said to The San Luis Obispo Tribune. “He just loved golf. That was his life. He loved to play and loved to practice.”
McCutcheon’s former golf teammate Jake Galey, who also redshirted last fall, said McCutcheon was a professional and committed golfer who also had a funny side.
“He was definitely a comic on the course, he always had something to say,” Galey said. “He was one of the guys that was most fun to play with.”
A memorial service was held in the evening of Aug. 16 at the Dairy Creek Golf Course, where McCutcheon once worked, in combination with a tree planting ceremony in which a Coastal Redwood was planted honoring his memory.
A scholarship in McCutcheon’s name was also created through San Luis Obispo High School.
“He was an outstanding kid and it’s a terrible tragedy,” Cartwright said.