Aid worker from Penwortham was on Ethiopian flight which crashed killing all 157 on board

Sam Pegram died in Ethiopian plane crash
Sam Pegram died in Ethiopian plane crash
Share this article

An aid worker from Penwortham has been identified as one of the 157 people who died when an Ethiopian Airways plane crashed near Addis Ababa yesterday.

Sam Pegram, 25, who worked for the Norwegian Refugee Council, was on his way to Nairobi when the Boeing 737 Max 8 came down shortly after take-off.

Sam with his mother Deborah pictured in Geneva last week

Sam with his mother Deborah pictured in Geneva last week

Today his distraught mother Deborah told the Post: "Sam was so looking forward to going to Nairobi. He loved the work he was doing.

"We can't believe this has happened. We're totally devastated."

Sam, a former pupil at Priory High School and Runshaw College, had dedicated his life to humanitarian work and had previously helped refugees in Jordan.

He had been based in Geneva since January and was flying to Kenya with a colleague to deliver a training programme.

They caught a connecting flight in Addis Ababa, taking off at 8.44am local time on Sunday. The plane crashed six minutes later near the town of Bishoftu.

Seven Britons were on board. There were no survivors.

Sam's father, IT consultant Mark Pegram, said: "He was so very special. I know every parent thinks that about their child, but Sam really was.

"He always had a big heart, he was always looking out for others. He had a very strong sense of what he thought was right and what was wrong and he didn't like to see anyone suffer.

"He absolutely loved the work he was doing, because he was helping ease people's suffering. And that was what was important to him more than anything else."

After A-levels at Runshaw, Preston North End fan Sam studied international relations at the University of Leeds and later did his Masters in international human rights law at York.

In between he had spent two years in Jordan as a volunteer aid worker helping refugees.

Only last week his parents visited him in Geneva. "We spent such a lovely four days with him. He was so happy.

"He had so many plans and so much he wanted to do. It was his calling."