Candlelight vigil for Harkenrider Sunday

editorial@sierrastar.comAugust 14, 2014 

A candlelight vigil will be held at 7:30 p.m. this Sunday at the Yosemite High School varsity baseball field to honor the life of 2007 YHS graduate, Matthew Harkenrider, who was tragically killed in a car accident in Fresno on Thursday.

According to a Fresno police report, the incident occurred about 7 a.m. at Herndon Avenue and Fresno Street when Roberta Lynn Soto, 45, driving a stolen Kia SUV on Fresno Street, ran a red light at high speed at the Herndon intersection, slamming into a Mazda, driven by Harkenrider, who was driving on Herndon Ave.

The impact sent the vehicles into three other cars at the intersection.

Soto faces charges of felony vehicular manslaughter, driving a stolen vehicle, felony driving under the influence and possession of methamphetamines.

Harkenrider, 26, who worked at the Community Regional Medical Center as a radiology technician, was a standout athlete at YHS. He was an all-league catcher and team MVP on the school’s baseball team. He was also a member of the school’s football team.

“It’s just tragic because that kid had it all ... he had everything,” Aaron Eames, teacher and former football coach at YHS said. “It’s not just like losing a student or student athlete, it’s like losing a child. It’s like losing someone from your family. It just makes me think of my own sons and how precious life is.”

Yosemite baseball coach John McMillen called Harkenrider a big part of Badger baseball and says he will be missed greatly.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire family,” McMillen said.

Harkenrider is survived by his wife Megan, daughter, Natalie, parents, Jeff and Doreen Harkenrider, twin brother, Eric, and older brother, Adam.

For candlelight vigil information, click on: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yosemite-High-School-Baseball-Alumni-Game/278136885287?hc_location=timeline.

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