Suburban man killed in Boeing crash remembered as anniversary nears

Chicago News
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CHICAGO — Wednesday marks the second anniversary of a Boeing 737 Max crash that killed all on board, including a local man from the South Suburbs.

Antoine Lewis, a decorated Army captain, was among those killed in March of 2019 when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed minutes after takeoff.

It was the second deadly crash in five months involving a Boeing 737 Max jet.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him, that I don’t talk to a picture of him on the wall,” his mother, Antoinette Lewis, said.

Antoine Lewis’s family believes the jet maker’s rush to get the plane in service costs the lives of all 157 people on board.

“They are gone now but the only thing we can do is keep them in our prayers,” Antoinette Lewis said.

Raised in Matteson, Lewis graduated from Rich Central High School and enlisted in the Army as a third-generation family member. He went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Lewis was married with two children. The service member was one of nine siblings, all of whom were raised in the church. He was also an accomplished musician.

While Lewis accomplished so much in his 40 years on earth, his loved ones say he had much more to do.

“We still love you and we are here and we miss you,” Antoinette Lewis said. “Whatever this life brings, it’s not going to bring enough without him because he was my son, he was my baby.”

While he survived combat in Afghanistan, it was the potential for Christian missionary work that brought him to Ethiopia on vacation. 

The Ethiopian crash followed a Boeing 737 Max that occurred in October of 2018. A U.S. House oversight committee found Boeing had a series of faulty technical assumptions, a lack of transparency by Boeing managers and grossly insufficient oversight by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Lewis family has joined multiple federal lawsuits filed against Boeing currently making their way through the courts. 

On Wednesday, victims of both crashes will be honored in Washington D.C.

“Each one of those lives stood for somebody and something,” Antoine Lewis said. “They hadn’t finished whatever it was they had in mind that they were going to do.”

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