Anthony Andrighetto, 21, was 'terrific athlete'

He recently discovered he liked coaching, his father says

Anthony C. Andrighetto grew up a Woodside kid in a Portola Valley neighborhood -- Woodside's Family Farm/Hidden Valley is surrounded by Portola Valley -- went to school in Menlo Park and Mountain View, and played sports wherever he went, including Little League, Pop Warner and, most recently, intramural sports at the University of Arizona.

Anthony had recently discovered that he liked coaching, his father Steven Andrighetto said. On his way back from coaching student basketball at Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School in Tucson on Wednesday, Oct. 19, someone made a left turn in front of the Jeep he was driving and he died as a result of the collision. He was 21.

His roommate and Delta Chi fraternity brother Sam Schmid, his passenger in the Jeep, is hospitalized in a coma, Mr. Andrighetto said. "They were good boys," he said. "It was a horrible accident."

Three other people were injured in an accident that ultimately involved five vehicles, but none of the other injuries were as serious, according to a report from the Tucson Police Department.

"The (university's) Interfraternity Council is deeply saddened at the loss of Anthony and wishes to offer our deepest sympathies to the members of Delta Chi, family and friends of those affected by this tragedy," Michael Colletti, the council's president, said in a story in the university's newspaper, the Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Mr. Andrighetto spoke with the Almanac in a telephone interview on Monday, Oct. 24, just ahead of an 11 a.m. funeral for his son at St. Raymond Catholic Church on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park.

"He was a terrific athlete," Mr. Andrighetto said. Anthony played Little League baseball and football with the Pop Warner (Menlo-Atherton Vikings) program, as well as at Raymond Catholic School and St. Francis (Catholic) High School in Mountain View, his father said.

As a senior and track and field athlete at St. Francis in 2009, he ran with the 400-yard-relay team that won its way into the state championship, where St. Francis placed fourth, his father said.

"He was a small guy, but he was a really spectacular athlete," he father said. "He knew he had to work hard because he was so small. That was kind of his MO."

After making a touchdown in football, Anthony typically would not engage in antics at the goalposts but head back to his team, his dad said.

Permissive left turns

Tucson traffic intersections are notable for allowing "unprotected" left turns when a straight-ahead red light turns green, Mr. Andrighetto said. When that green light then turns red, a left green arrow typically lights up to allow protected left turns, he said.

"Only in Tucson," Mr. Andrighetto said, adding that it's a common topic among parents with kids at the University of Arizona. "We all talk about those signals," he said.

The accident began, according to witness accounts to Tucson police, with a van making a left turn into the right-of-way of the Jeep driven by Mr. Andrighetto, with Mr. Schmid as the passenger.

After colliding with the van, the Jeep left the ground, struck a pole and came to rest on its side.

Excessive speed does not appear to have been a factor, police said, adding that an investigation will be looking into the influence of drugs or alcohol. Such factors are highly unlikely to have had a role in this accident, Mr. Andrighetto said.

Anthony's major at Arizona was business/agriculture, his father said. Anthony had twice worked part-time for his dad at his South San Francisco wholesale produce business and there was talk of him joining that business, his father said.

But Anthony had begun to look at coaching. "He started opening his eyes and saying, 'I really enjoy doing this,'" his dad said.

With his father, Anthony Andrighetto is survived by his mother Donna of Woodside; brothers Vincent of New York City, Marco at Pepperdine University, and Dante, also at the University of Arizona; and his sister Mary at Corte Madera Middle School, his father said.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests all donations be sent using the following information in order to create the Anthony Andrighetto Gift Fund: Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, PO BOX 770001, Cincinnati OH 45277-0053, Checks should be made payable to Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund. In the memo section, write Account 1041092, Anthony Andrighetto. If you send checks via overnight delivery, please mail checks to Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, 100 Crosby Parkway, Mail zone KC1D-FCS, Covington KY 41015-9325.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Colin Jenkins
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I didn't know Anthony personally but my middle son, Sam, played Pop Warner with him when they were 9 or 10 years old. I can say without hesitation that Anthony was one of the toughest kids I've ever seen on a football field at any youth sports level. He would lower his shoulder and hit even the biggest player as hard as he could every time. What a sad loss. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Like this comment
Posted by Andrea
a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Oct 25, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I used to live in Tucson and in 1989 (22 years ago!) I witnessed a girl being run down because of one of these unprotected left turns. This young women was in a coma for a few days until she died and I'll never forget her eyes as she watched the truck coming at her. I was screaming and honking my horn when I realized the truck didn't see her. This was 22 years ago and how many people have died since then because of this traffic light flaw? My heart now goes out to Anthony and his family.

1 person likes this
Posted by Angelina
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 19, 2012 at 2:31 am

"Marco, is actually Mario." Anthony was one of the best people I have ever met in my life. I talked to him ONCE through one of his brothers and because of Anthony I got to know his family. He is an inspiration to me every day. Him and his family are the definition of an all-american family.

Like this comment
Posted by Elle
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Aug 8, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Anthony was my cousins cousin. It sounds distant, but our family is very close, I call his grandma Nona Gina. I mainly know his only sister, Mary, but the entire family is what every family strives to be. They are all close and they all love each other, no fake smiles.

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