Derick Lwugi, an accountant with the City of Calgary and member of a Canadian non-profit organization, has been confirmed as one of the 157 people killed in an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday.
Lwugi’s friend Jody Nyakio confirmed that he died in the crash and is survived by his wife and children.
Nyakio said she knew Lwugi when he lived in Toronto and he taught her to drive. She said she is “still in shock” to learn of Lwugi’s death, calling him “a great man.”
Lwugi was a board member of Abeingo Canada, an Ontario-based not-for-profit organization that seeks to empower members, who are predominantly Kenyan, economically through social support. On the organization’s website, Abeingo said Lwugi moved to Canada in 2004.
“Derick believes it is important to (give) back to society. He believes the emotional and psychological returns earned from helping the less fortunate are enormous,” it reads.
An Edmonton mother, her young daughter and a Carleton University professor were among the other 17 Canadians who died when the Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Addis Ababa airport on its way to Nairobi, Kenya.
Lwugi formed the Kenyan Community Association in Calgary in 2008 and served as the group’s first president until 2012, the website states. Lwugi also volunteered as an assistant pastor at the Trumpet Call International Ministries in Ogden, according to Abeingo.
He received a master’s degree in accounting and business statistics and worked at the City of Calgary as a senior financial accountant.
Family reached by Postmedia on Sunday declined to comment and a spokesperson said the city would be unable to issue a statement on Sunday.