Apr 6, 2015
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The victim who was killed in a solo-crash on Interstate Highway 80 on Sunday has been identified by the Contra Costa County coroner’s office as Thomas Michael Weller, 24, of Vallejo.

Weller was driving a 2000 Honda Accord westbound on I-80 at San Pablo Dam Road about 5:50 a.m. when his vehicle crashed into a pillar near the right-hand shoulder and caught fire, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Weller did not emerge from the vehicle and was later pronounced dead.

A 36-year-old San Pablo man who pulled his vehicle in front of the burning car and used his own fire extinguisher to put out the blaze was struck and injured by a passing car, but is expected to survive, CHP said.

Another minor crash occurred nearby when a Chevrolet Malibu was rear-ended by a Ford Windstar. That collision was due to the driver of the Chevy slowing down to observe the initial crash scene, CHP said.


    Thomas was born in Walnut Creek, California, the first-born of three sons to Jesse Michael and Tanya Monique Weller. His early education was received at Vista Christian School in Richmond under the watchful eye of Mrs. Adrienne Reynolds, Principal and Teacher.
    Thomas enjoyed most sports, and as a young boy played for El Cerrito Baseball and the Richmond Steelers Youth Football team. He attended Hercules High School where he participated in baseball, football and soccer, graduating with the class of 2009. He was also an avid basketball player, often participating in pick-up games with family and friends.
    Thomas was, as we say, “Raised in the church.” From infancy he attended Miracle Temple Apostolic Pentecostal Church in Richmond, under the leadership of the late Elder Thomas Gandy, Jr, Pastor Emeritus; Dr. Lelia Edwards, Pastor Emeritus; and District Elder T. Marc Gandy. He was active in the youth department, often organizing activities for the younger children. To his faith, he added his own world views, and wore them literally on his sleeve. One of his first tattoos reads “Live for today tomorrow isn’t promised.”
    A charming young man, Thomas was personable with a winning smile. He enjoyed camping and beach activities, and gatherings with friends and family, and he was especially excited about becoming a first-time parent with his long-time love Michelle. He was employed at Wells Fargo Bank in Piedmont, where he was well-liked by the staff and clients. He was a loving brother, son and boyfriend.
    Thomas leaves the following to mourn his passing: Grandmother Lerline Gandy; parents Jesse and Tanya; brothers Jesse David Weller, and Nicholas Erich Weller (Karla); and Michele Lachica, who is expecting their son, Thomas Sebastian, in July. Thomas will also be missed by a host of aunts, uncles and cousins, the Miracle Temple Church family, and friends.
    *Gifts may be made to a memorial fund for Thomas’ family established by his employer, Wells Fargo:
    Thomas Weller Memorial Account
    Account # 922 431 6522

    Frances Gandy | Apr 11th, 2015

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.