(Micah Messent / Instagram)

On Sunday morning, a sudden crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane claimed the lives of all 157 passengers and crew aboard, including 18 Canadians, one of which was from Vancouver Island.

Micah John Messent, of Courtenay, was on the flight as a Canadian representative for the United Nations Environment Assembly, which was meeting in Kenya this week.

On Saturday, Messent posted a picture of his passport to social media, describing how he was excited for the trip ahead.

“Pretty stoked to announce that I’ve been selected by UNA-Canada as a member of their delegation for the 4th United Nations Assembly of the Environment!” he said in the post.

“I’m headed to Kenya tomorrow where I’ll have the chance to meet with other passionate youth and leaders from around the world and explore how we can tackle the biggest challenges that are facing our generation. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and want to thank all of the people in my life who have helped me get this far. Wish me luck!”

Messent graduated from Vancouver Island University in 2017 and since then has been working as an Indigenous Relations Analyst for BC Parks.

Since the crash, condolences have poured in for Messent’s family and everyone involved in the tragedy.

“Micah was an indigenous youth leader and worked tirelessly to engage with disenfranchised youth on ocean literacy, conservation, and culture,” said personal friend and colleague, Matt Millar, in a social media post.

“His work was paving the way for environmental justice and reconciliation. His infectious laugh radiated into everyone around him. It was impossible not to like Micah.”

Following the crash, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to express his condolences to all of the victims, and provided a phone number and email for Canadians looking for assistance.

Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 was leaving Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at 8:38 a.m. local time on March 10th, and was heading to Nairobi, Kenya, when it crashed just six minutes after takeoff.

The cause of the crash is currently unknown, and Ethiopian authorities are investigating.

“Ethiopian Airlines Group expresses its profound sorrow and deepest condolences to the families of the victims and their loved ones on the tragic plane accident,” said the company.

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