MATTESON, Ill. (AP) – The mother of a U.S. Army captain from suburban Chicago says her son was “doing what he loved to do” before he died in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.
Antoine Lewis was one of 157 people who died in the crash Sunday of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft. The plane crashed shortly after taking off for Nairobi, Kenya from Addis Ababa, killing people from 35 countries.
Antoinette Lewis of Matteson says her 39-year-old son was stationed in Ottawa, Canada and was on vacation to do Christian missionary work in Ethiopia. She said his passion was “just to make a better world.”
U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft said her thoughts and prayers were with the Lewis family. She added he will “be deeply missed by both his American and Canadian colleagues.” Craft said she ordered the flags at the U.S. embassy and consulates across Canada to fly at half-staff.
Family members say Lewis eventually planned to start a business or charity and build a home in Africa following his retirement from the military.
Father Rodney Lewis says his son entered the military as an enlisted man and moved up through the ranks. He leaves behind a wife, also in the military, and a 15-year-old son.