Friends of motorcyclist Eric Leoni, who was killed by a French national reportedly in the United State illegally at the time of the crime, are planning a fundraiser Sunday in Riverdale to help his family.
Leoni, 48, died April 22 as he was riding his Harley-Davidson to work in Lemoore from Riverdale. The California Highway Patrol reported that Nicholas Laurent Appert, 20, was at the wheel of a large truck just after 5 a.m. when he failed to slow for a traffic signal while eastbound on Mt. Whitney Avenue at Highway 41. The truck struck Leoni’s motorcycle from behind and Leoni died at the scene.
Wednesday, Appert was arraigned in Fresno County Superior Court on multiple felonies, including vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving a stolen vehicle, receiving stolen property, hit-and-run driving and forgery. Appert is also charged with driving without a license. He remains in Fresno County Jail on a $171,000 bond and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service has filed a detainer to prevent his release from custody. He faces a June 6 preliminary hearing on the charges in the court of Judge James A. Kelley Jr.
The potluck fundraiser for Leoni, a husband, father of two and grandfather of one, will be from noon to 8 p.m. at Brown’s Bar & Grill at the Hub, 5020 19 1/2 Ave. in Riverdale.
A GoFundMe page is set up for the Leoni family at www.gofundme.com/fundraiser-for-the-leoni-family.