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Joel Huggins takes last LIAT flight home

Joel Huggins takes last LIAT flight home

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“He left us without saying goodbye.”

This is how Adina Valentine, Public Relations Officer of the Dominica Electricity Services Ltd. (DOMLEC) in Dominica describes the sudden passing of the company’s General Manager, Joel Huggins. {{more}}

The 62-year-old Huggins died suddenly on Friday, November 14, 2008, while on board LIAT Flight 851 that was destined for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday afternoon, Valentine, via telephone, said Huggins’ death came as a shock. She told SEARCHLIGHT that he had worked late the previous Thursday night and had even driven himself to the airport last Friday morning.

Valentine said Huggins had intended to spend the weekend with his family in St. Vincent.

A press statement issued by LIAT on the day Huggins died stated LI 851 was proceeding from Dominica via St.Lucia to its final destination in St. Vincent when the request for emergency assistance was made.

“Emergency services met the aircraft on arrival. After a medical examination, a male passenger was pronounced dead by a local physician,” said the airline.

Reports claim that a post mortem examination conducted on the deceased confirm that he died of a heart attack.

Valentine said Huggins, who took the reins of DOMLEC on June 1, 2004, as its General Manager cared very much for his staff.

“He had a very close relationship with his linemen,” said Valentine.

Valentine also disclosed that Dominica’s Minister of Public Utilities, Energy and Port, Hon. Charles Savarin will be attending Huggins’ funeral service at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Calliaqua tomorrow. The funeral service begins at 3 p.m.

Before taking up his post as General Manager of DOMLEC, Huggins had served as CEO of the St. Vincent Electricity Services Ltd (VINLEC) for 22 years. He is often credited with leading a team that transformed VINLEC from a poor financial situation with consistent operating losses, and a negative cash flow to a company that was a financial and operational success.

He was married to Clydella Huggins and was the father of three children: Arianne, Daryl and Jesse.

Interactive Media Limited, publisher of the SEARCHLIGHT newspaper, extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late Joel Huggins.