Bay Area family mourning death of father killed on Thanksgiving

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With two young children and another on the way, a Richmond woman is mourning the loss of her husband who never came home from helping out a friend on Thanksgiving morning. 

On Thursday, on a day that was supposed to be about family time and bonding over holiday food, it turned into one of tragedy for Seble Tooman when she received a call that her husband had been killed in a solo vehicle accident on Interstate 80 in Emeryville, near the Powell street off-ramp.

The crash shut down two eastbound lanes on I-80 for several hours.

The Highway Patrol later said the victim, Gabriel Tooman, lost control of his SUV, collided with the center divider and was ejected from his vehicle.

Tooman was not wearing a seatbelt, according to the CHP.

On Monday, Patrick Tooman told KTVU his 35-year-old brother was killed as he was returning home after dropping off a co-worker at Mineta San Jose Airport early that morning.

Tooman added that his brother had been working late the previous night and wondered if he had gotten tired at the wheel. 

Waking up early on a holiday to help out a friend was not out of character for Gabriel Tooman, according to his brother.

"This guy, he's a big hearted person. Does stuff like that. He'll drop whatever he's doing to help you if you're in need," Patrick Tooman said overcome with emotion. "He's a very generous person." 

He added that prior to the accident, his brother had called his wife to tell her to get the kids ready as they would be visiting the Tooman's parents in the Central Valley.

Seble Tooman and the kids were waiting for her husband to get back home when she received word of the crash. 

Patrick Tooman said understandably, his sister-in-law has been completely distraught. "She's pretty much saying she can't be doing this life thing without him," the brother-in-law said.

On a GoFundMe page to help the family with expenses including funeral costs, Gabriel Tooman is described as a loving and dedicated husband, father, son, brother and friend.

"He worked hard to support his family and wanted his wife and children to have the best of everything and was the sole provider of the house," the GoFundMe said.