Flight crash victim had ties to Carolinas

by: Blake Hanson Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Word of Thursday's crash plane crash in Ukraine spread quickly through the Carolina's HIV/AIDS community.

"I saw it on Facebook pretty immediately," said Shannon Warren, program director for the Carolinas Care Partnership. "It seemed to be pretty well known within the community."

President Barack Obama announced Friday that around 100 of the victims of the Flight MH17 crash were traveling to the International Aids Conference in Melbourne, Australia. Some were top researchers trying to end the epidemic.

"These were men and women who dedicated there own lives to saving the lives of others and they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence," said Obama.

Warren said the conference is critical to the cause.

"This is where a lot of new advances come out this is where we hear about new things that are happening," said Warren.

Eyewitness News also learned one of the victims had ties to the Carolinas. Dr. Joep Lange is a former president of the International AIDS Society. He helped start Duke's Global Health Institute and was in North Carolina a month ago.

"It's a loss even for our local community," said Dr. Michael Merson, director of the Duke Global Health Institute.

All 298 people aboard the flight died in Thursday's crash.

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