CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Tributes are pouring in for a Calgary man who died in the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday.
Derick Lwugi was a husband and father who worked for the City of Calgary as an accountant.
He was also the founder of the Kenyan Community Association in Calgary.
News of Lwugi’s death has shocked many in Calgary and the local Kenyan community, with Mayor Naheed Nenshi offering his condolences to Derick’s wife.
“I spoke with his wife today and expressed that the City, as an organization and as an employer, is fully willing and ready to reach out in whatever way is needed,” Nenshi said. “There are a number of tools at our disposal in order to help the family through this.”
Nenshi says he was “devastated” to learn of Derick’s passing in the crash and called his death a huge loss to the East African community in Calgary, of which Lwugi was the founder of the Kenyan Community Association.
“It is crushing for his City of Calgary family. Certainly, all of his colleagues today are thinking of him. We are making sure that support services and counselling are available for his coworkers,” he said. “This is a deep wound for all of us, and our love is with his family and friends, and everyone he has touched in a life that was really defined by service.”
Absolutely crushed to learn that one of my @cityofcalgary colleagues, wonderful community leader Derick Lwugi, was amongst those killed in the plane crash this morning in Ethiopia. All our love to his family, friends, colleagues, and all those touched by his life of service.
— Naheed Nenshi (@nenshi) March 11, 2019
Other have also taken to social media to offer messages of solace.
We are all very saddened by this tragic news. Our thoughts are with Derick's family, friends and colleagues. https://t.co/NQJQa0SYtk
— City of Calgary (@cityofcalgary) March 11, 2019
— Dawn Matthews (@ange1mom438) March 11, 2019
@DavidMuir We will dearly miss our friend and brother Mr. Derick Lwugi a Canadian -Kenyan who was in that ill fated Ethiopian Airline travelling to Nairobi. He leaves his wife Gladys and three children in Alberta ,Canada. May his soul rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/YUjF396YM8
— Pastor Nick (@nickobiero) March 10, 2019
Lwugi’s wife of 22-years Gladys Kivia, told CityNews that she found out about the crash thanks to a man from Holland asking her to confirm details of her husband’s flight.
“Can you confirm his flight number, what time he was landing.’ then he said, ‘there’s some news that there was a plane crash.’ Then from that time, it was a waiting game, waiting for information.”
She said Lwugi was on his way to Nairobi to visit family.
Lwugi leaves behind his wife as well as three children, ages 17,19 and 20.