TOMS RIVER — Loved ones are raising funds for the man killed in a crash while he was learning how to ride a motorcycle on Sunday.

Nicholas Cacciapaglia, 24, of Toms River lost control of his Harley Davidson in a parking lot and drove onto Route 37, according to Toms River police. He fell off the bike and slid into a lane where he was struck by an SUV.

"Nick’s work ethic was second to none, he always worked hard towards his goals. He was loved and respected by everyone around him, and he gave that same love and respect back to everyone who entered his life," his brother Stephan Cacciapaglia wrote on a GoFundMe page. "I couldn’t have asked for a better brother or mentor, and I can’t imagine having to go through the rest of my life without him."

Nick's employer, R&H Spring and Truck Repair also expressed their condolences.

"'Little Big Diesel' you were a pleasure to have on our crew. Your work ethic paired with the eagerness and willing to learn this trade was irreplaceable. We were/are all proud to have you on our team. You will forever be missed and never forgotten," the Wall Township company wrote.

The driver of the vehicle that struck Nick, Dominick Maruca, 62 of Toms River, was not believed to be impaired and no charges were issued, according to Toms River police spokeswoman Jillian Messina.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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