The local rugby community lost one of its pioneers on Monday.
The Abbotsford Rugby Football Club announced on Tuesday morning on Facebook that an automobile accident on the morning of Jan. 23 took the life of longtime Abbotsford resident Todd Di Guistini.
Di Guistini remained involved in the sport, eventually rising to the role of president of the ARFC. He was the president of the club from 2010 to 2013, and suited up for the team in both the men’s and old boys divisions.
He was also the man behind the formation of the Abbotsford Originals, a senior men’s rugby team.
“He was an awesome guy who was always positive and always smiling,” said former ARFC president Ryan McWhinney. “I had the privilege of serving on our executive with him for several years. Todd will be deeply missed.”
Di Guistini was the victim in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Campbell and Marion roads on Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford.
The crash took place at about 9:15 a.m., when two trucks – each with a lone male occupant – collided.
A westbound 2016 Ford F-350 ended up in a ditch, and the driver was seriously injured, resulting in an air ambulance being dispatched.
Abbotsford Police Const. Ian MacDonald said the driver was then pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the other vehicle – a northbound 2000 GMC Sierra – was not seriously injured.
The ARFC’s Facebook page received an outpouring of condolences on the news, with dozens leaving positive comments about not only the impact Di Giustini made on the local rugby scene, but also his quality of character.
Following graduation at Abbotsford Senior, Di Giustini attended UFV, and had been serving as the vice-president of the Abbotsford-based Clayburn Refractories.
The ARFC held a gathering at their clubhouse on Tuesday evening to share stories about Di Guistini. Funeral service information has not yet been formally announced.