Thousands raised for public works employee hit

Posted at 10:28 PM, Mar 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-04 23:28:14-05
Hundreds turned out in support of an Omaha Public Works employee who was struck and killed by a car in January while he was trying to repair a pothole.
Salvatore Fidone III was struck near 144th and U.
Saturday, there was a fundraiser at the Omaha Firefighters Hall to support Fidone’s two sons.
There was hot food, raffles, sweets and bidding for prizes to raise money.
"He is absolutely a true testament of what it means to be a man, an ethical man, a man with integrity, a man that loved life and more importantly loved his family," said Fidone’s wife Lisa. 
About 800 people, many of them strangers to the Fidones, helped raise money to support the family.
The money will pay for college and other expenses for Salvatore Fidone IV, 18, and Luciano Fidone, 13.
"It feels pretty good to know that the community is here to help us, have our backs when we're down and we need it the most,” said Fidone IV.
Fidone III was part of Local Union 251.
His friend Tony Burkhalter helped put together Saturday's fundraiser.
"Heartache, when I initially heard about it,” Burkhalter said. “I personally trained Sal. Sal was a friend of mine. I went to the hospital and got the bad news."
The Fidones live in Council Bluffs.
"Incredible that two communities can come together and not let the river divide us and show such amazing love and support," said Lisa Fidone. 
Despite losing a pillar of their family, the Fidones say they forgive the driver who struck and killed Salvatore.
They say it was an accident.
"Accidents do happen,” said Fidone IV. “You can't pin it on him forever because that's just going to hurt my grieving stage and I feel like if I don't forgive him for taking  my dad away from me, then I'll never be OK."
The fundraising goal from the event is $50,000.
An organizer says they'll likely know exactly how much was raised by Monday.