Loretta Fuddy, the woman who confirmed the President Barack Obama's birth certificate was legit, was killed in a plane crash in Hawaii, reports CNN.
Fuddy was the only fatality in the crash.
Here's what you need to know:
1. One Person Swam to Shore
There were nine people onboard the plane at the time of the crash on December 11. It occurred 1 mile away from Kalaupapa in Molokai, Hawaii. The other eight people on board survived the crash, and one person was in good enough condition to swim to shore. The Maui Fire Department rescued four people, and a Coast Guard helicopter rescued three.
2. Hawaii's High-Ranking Politicians Have Paid Tribute to Her
Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie acknowledged her death with a statement:
Our hearts are broken. Loretta was deeply loved and respected. She was selfless, utterly dedicated and committed to her colleagues in the Department of Health and to the people of Hawaii. Her knowledge was vast; her counsel and advice always given from her heart as much as from her storehouse of experience.
State House Speaker Joseph Souki said:
Director Fuddy was a dedicated public servant with a passion for public health. She led with grace during difficult times, always rising to the challenge, and remaining focused on improving the health of all in the community. She was especially passionate about the most vulnerable in our communities, a champion for mothers, newborns, and early childhood care. Her warm, caring spirit for the people of Hawaiʻi will truly be missed.
Senator Brian Schatz said:
Loretta Fuddy was one of the finest, most capable, and most caring public servants I have ever known. This is a sad day for Hawaiʻi. My condolences and aloha go to Loretta’s ʻohana and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health family. Loretta was one of the very best.
Senator Mazie Hirono:
I join many people in Hawaiʻi today in mourning the sudden, tragic passing of Loretta Fuddy. Loretta was a dedicated public servant who spent most of her life working to improve public health on behalf of Hawaiʻi’s families. It was a privilege to work with Loretta since my time in the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. She touched so many lives and will be missed. Our thoughts are with Loretta’s loved ones, as well as the recovering victims of the plane crash.
3. She Proved Barack Obama Was Born in America
Fuddy, in her role as the head of Hawaii's health department, made national news in April 2011 when she declared that President Obama's birth certificate was legitimate. She said at the time:
I have seen the original records filed at the Department of Health and attest to the authenticity of the certified copies the department provided to the President that further prove the fact that he was born in Hawaii."
4. The Cause of the Crash is Still Pending
An investigation is under way into the cause of the crash, which occurred just after takeoff, reports Maui Now. The FAA published a scant initial statement that provides little information. The crash will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.
5. She Was a Native of Hawaii
Fuddy was raised in Kaimuki, Hawaii, graduating from Sacred Hearts Academy. She was active in her church choir and loved her cat, Flint, according to her profile on Hawaii Health Connector.