Remembering Crash Victim Franck Gauthier

The 21-year-old Santa Monica College student, an aspiring music producer, died March 12. His family and friends remember him as upbeat and ambitious.

Franck-Olivier Gauthier was a French-born Santa Monica College student, who in his short 21 years, had traveled across Europe and Africa before landing in California.

He died March 12—one month before his 22nd birthday—from injuries sustained in a .

His family resides in Paris, and shared memories of Gauthier in letters and messages sent via email.

Friends say they were drawn to Gauthier because he was upbeat, humble, open-minded and creative.

When it came time to pick a university, he chose Santa Monica College, because he was in love with California and wanted a multicultural environment, said his aunt Jeanne-Elvire Adotevi.

He worked at the college bookstore while studying finance. When he wasn't working or in class, Gauthier mixed beats from a home studio. He set his sights on attending SAE Institute, an audio engineering and music production school in Los Angeles.  


Mother Huguette Adotevi:

Franck-Olivier was a young person with great integrity. For him, a friend is a 'FRIEND,' and he looks at and behaves towards him as a member of his close family

Friend Rim Hab:

Franck was really, and I rarely say this, one of a kind. His energetic persona  and friendly approach was unmatched. I always reminded him of what he had accomplished and where his ambitions could take him since I knew that he had what many lacked, a goal.

Friend Vida:

I will always remember you as a positive person... Thank you for showing the happy side of this world.

Brother Mark Doumba:

Thanks to his technologic savvy, Franco mastered all the recording software and tools which enabled him to sample voices, mix, and speed-up music beats. As young as Franco was, he listened to a wide-ranging variety of music styles, eras, and influences in different languages. His taste was particularly affected by African music, after Franco moved to live in Benin (West Africa) for a year with his grandmother. This experience has further shaped him into the personal he had become, tough, and respectful of elders.

Elease Juarez, Santa Monica College bookstore operations assistant:

He was very respectful—he was always that way to supervisors, too... he never used profanity. He was like a little gentleman. He treated his peers the same why like he would want to be treated.

Aunts Mireille, Hélène and Jeanne-Elvire:

We learned a lot from him as he used to live his choices with passion at their fullest.

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Eddie Greenberg March 31, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Franck-Olivier sounds like he was a very special young man. It is a terrible act of fate that his short life would end here in our city by an accident. No doubt both we, his family and his countrymen and women will mourn his untimely passing.
lulu hab April 01, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Franck was a great person and very special, It is so sad that he had to leave us so early but he will stay in our heart forever, I know he is in heaven protecting us and smiling his beautiful smile, MAY YOUR MUSICAL SOUL R.I.P. FRANKI FRANK.. always remember you as a great man who have great influence on me and always in my heart. You mean a lot to a lot off people. Much love and respect
Sabine Adotevi December 17, 2012 at 11:58 PM
We miss you and your passing away left the greatest void in our family and is the biggest loss we have sustained, and hopefully the last one of its kind. Not a day goes by without thinking that we are missing one of us you are lingering in our memories like a recurrent diffuse pain... Somebody is missing and that is you. I do not have many memories of times together, regretfully, but I do remember babysitting you and your brother once, we drew and we rehearsed a song for your mother's return. I very much regret as your aunt, not to have known you better but you always had my love even if it was only because you were the son of one of my favourite cousin and the nephew of the other. I hope that from where you are you will take care of your mother and your beloved brother. My son was touched by you and you will carry on in his memory too which is priceless to me as it means that he knows that family goes beyond physical presence. Sabine
bonne maman February 01, 2013 at 08:50 AM
Franck-Olivier la mort t'a emporté si vite !! tu es toujours dans notre coeur . repose en paix. Bonne maman et Sonia
bonne maman February 01, 2013 at 09:05 AM
Franck -Olivier la mort t'a emporté si vite! tu es toujours dans notre coeur. bonne maman et Sonia


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