A former California State Fullerton wrestler who died in a crash on Monday was remembered by his friends and family as dedicated and hardworking.
“Andre was one of the best all-around young men that I’ve ever been able to coach,” said Dan Hicks, Gonzalez’s former coach. “He was a very good wrestler, but even more he was a great leader, teammate, and just a great friend.”
California Highway Patrol officers responded to reports of a crash on Monday at about 3:30 a.m. They found Gonzalez dead on the northbound 133 just north of the 73 exit. According to CHP and coroner’s officials, he was ejected from his vehicle.
CHP officials said the accident occurred after Gonzalez miscalculated the curve in the roadway. His Chrysler PT Cruiser slid into the median and rolled over several times before it stopped on its side.
Gonzalez was a senior at San Jose State and was set to graduate in May with a degree in kinesiology. He was also the captain of the wrestling squad at the university.
“He worked super hard all through his college career,” said Hicks, who recruited Gonzalez out of high school. “… Never an issue in how hard he worked. It was his character, who he was.”
Risto Marttinen, 29, a former coach of Gonzalez at Cal State Fullerton, recalled Gonzalez’s dedication and persistence during his freshman year at school.
“He came in as a fourth-string guy. He was really resilient,” Marttinen said. “Midway through his freshman year, he made the transition. He was our starter all four years.”
Gonzalez is survived by his mother, father and two younger sisters.
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