Candlelight Vigil Held For Beloved Ethiopian Man

Posted at 10:11 PM, Oct 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-16 00:11:09-04

Nashville's Ethiopian community held a candlelight vigil for a beloved man killed in a crash downtown.

A few hundred people gathered at the intersection of Peabody Street and 2nd Avenue South on Sunday where 55-year-old Hizkias Woldegabriel died after a Ford van struck him in his taxicab.

Friends said his death left a big hole in their hearts.

Woldegabriel was described as a man who worked tirelessly to provide for his wife and two children, 21-year-old Negusu Hizkias and 18-year-old Liya Hizkias.

Both children were born in Seattle, Washington but attended Hume-Fogg High School.

"The Hume-Fogg faculty reached out to me. The Ethiopian community that you see behind me, they're huge. They've always got my back since I got here about ten years ago," Negusu said.

Family and friends traveled from Seattle, D.C., and New York to remember Woldegabriel.

During the candlelight vigil, church members said prayers, sang songs, and walked a wreath to a light pole, the spot where Woldegabriel died.

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"My dad was always a bright person no matter what. He had to wake up so early, like at 3 a.m., to go to the airport. He was cab driver, but no matter what, he never complained. He always had a smile on his face and always tried to make us laugh," Liya said. 

On Monday, there will be a vigil and prayer service at Medhanialem Ethiopian Church located at 4506 Nolensville Pike from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The burial ceremony will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery on Thompson Lane from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. 

A gofundme page has been set up to help with funeral arrangements.

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