Oceanside Crash Survivors Remember ‘Pay it Forward Angel'

Just before he died, Matthew Jackson paid a woman's $200 grocery bill, saying he only asked she do the same for someone else.

Friends of a California man who inspired a 'pay it forward' movement around the world, are talking about their friend's final act of kindness before his sudden death.

Matthew Jackson, 28, died November 11 when his vehicle struck a tree in Vista.  Two of his friends were with him and suffered injuries in the crash.

Now, the two North County men are talking about Jackson and how, less than 24 hours before he died, he had paid for a woman's $200 grocery bill only asking that she do the same for someone else.

News of Jackson’s tragic death and good deed sparked a pay it forward movement nationwide thanks to Jamie-Lynne Knighten of Carlsbad who shared his story.

Knighten said her credit card was declined with a groceries ready to go, a crying baby in her arms and a line of people waiting at a local grocery store on Nov. 10. 

Jackson stepped in saying, "May I? May I take care of your groceries?" according to Knighten adding that his only request was that she promise to do it for someone else.

“It sounds like Matt, like something he would do," said Nic Carlson who was in the car with Jackson. . "He was always a good guy. Always wanted to make people feel better or fix a problem that they had.”

The crash broke several of Carlson's ribs and caused a brain injury. He suffered short term memory loss and it took several times for people to tell him what happened.

“When someone let me know what happened again it hit me pretty hard. You spend so much time with these people they become your family,” he said.

Mark Caparelli said he doesn’t remember much from the crash other than texting in the backseat and hearing Jackson indicate he’d lost control of the car.

“I didn’t know what was happening. I was in shock. I was trembling,” Caparelli said.

Carlson and Caparelli are still trying to find meaning in this loss.

“Whether it was I survived the crash and need to make a full recovery so I can not take anything for granted going forward and appreciate what I have in front of me. That’s what the pay it forward movement is about. Doing something good for somebody throughout the day and they’ll pay it forward and do something else and this world will be a better place,” said Caparelli.

An online fundraising page has been set up to help Carlson and Caparelli who have been struggling after the accident.

This Sunday there is also a pay it forward holiday event to honor Matthew Jackson’s legacy. It’s hosted by Jamie-Lynne Knighten and will take place at Calavera Park at 2997 Glasgow Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92010 from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information call (760) 434-2923.

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