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Georgetown Law student, employees from Baltimore-based charity among plane crash victims

Posted at 11:18 PM, Mar 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-11 08:16:48-04

BALTIMORE — An Ethiopian Airlines plane bound for Kenya that crashed minutes after take off killed everyone on board. At least 32 nations are represented among the 157 victims.

One of them was a Georgetown University Law student Cedric Asiavugwa. According to WJLA, the third year student was born and raised in Kenya, graduated from the University of Zimbabwe, helped found an organization to help women and children in Somalia, spent eight years studying Catholic theology in Africa, and was member of Georgetown's campus ministry.

“He was brilliant, really kind and very humble. He always had something really amazing to say," law student Sarah Decker said. “It’s really heartbreaking to know that he won’t be able to fulfill the legacy he had set out for himself.”

Decker says she was in a class of just 12 people with him, working to help refugees navigate the legal system. She spoke to Cedric Friday, a conversation she will never forget.

“He actually expressed that he has a fear of planes," Decker said. “It was almost surreal getting that email because it was what he had feared when he was talking to us about flying. So that was really hard.”

The U.S. State Department confirms eight Americans were killed in the crash and the UN Secretary General says several United Nations staff members were also killed.

Four employees from Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services were also killed, according to charity officials. Spokeswoman Nikki Gamer said the employees were not among the eight American victims.

The plane was a new Boeing 737 Max 8; the same type of aircraft that crashed in Indonesia last October, killing all 189 people on board. China's Civilian Aviation Authority has ordered all Chinese airlines to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 planes.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA will be assisting Ethiopian Aviation Authorities as they investigate the cause of the crash.