A San Diego man was killed in an off-road crash in San Luis Obispo, California, over the weekend while riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), officials confirmed.
According to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department, Joshua Buttita, 30, was driving a Rhino ATV Monday just before 2:15 p.m. on a dirt road in the 3500 block of Soda Road in rural Paso Robles near Lake Nacimiento when, for unknown reasons, he failed to navigate a turn.
When deputies arrived, they found the ATV had rolled over and crashed, and Buttitta was unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials said Buttitta was riding with one passenger, who was not injured in the rollover.
The passenger was identified as Andrew Jupin, 25, also from San Diego. Both Buttitta and his passenger were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.
Josh was an engineer, living in North Clariemont. His neighbors say he had many friends and that he was a great neighbor who would often smile and wave to everyone.
“I got a little lump in my throat. I got a little teary. I just thought, I can't believe it. I can't believe my nice neighbor over there, not a troublemaker, really good guy. Just, it was a shock,” Buttitta’s neighbor Poli Lillard said.
The incident is under investigation but officials have determined it was an accident. A toxicology exam is being conducted to determine if alcohol or drugs contributed to the crash, officials said, and those results could take two to six weeks.
The coroner in San Luis Obispo will determine the victim’s cause and manner of death. His family has been notified, the sheriff’s department said.
Officials said the area where Buttitta and Jupin were riding is not an area where many ATV riders typically off-road.