Ethiopian Airlines crash: These are the Canadian victims
Officials say 18 Canadians were killed in Sunday’s crash involving an Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet en route to Kenya. All of the 157 passengers on the plane were killed. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 went down Sunday morning shortly after takeoff.
Here’s what we know about the Canadian victims so far:
Ameen Ismail Noormohamed, Toronto, Ont.
Noormohamed is a 72-year-old Canadian citizen who recently moved to live in Nairobi, Kenya.
His son Naheed, who lives in Toronto, told Global News Noormohamed frequently travelled between the two countries.
Rubi Pauls and family, Ontario
Rubi Pauls, a nine-month-old baby, was travelling with her family to meet her grandfather in Kenya when the plane crashed.
Rubi’s mother Carolyne Karanja, her siblings, seven-year-old Ryan and four-year-old Kerri, and her grandmother Ann Wangui Karanja, were also on the plane. Rubi’s grandfather says the family was visiting Ontario and were on their way home. Rubi was the only Canadian citizen in the family.
Dawn Tanner, Hamilton, Ont.
The Grand Erie District School Board confirmed one of its department heads, Dawn Tanner, 47, was in the plane when it crashed.
Tanner joined the Hagersville Secondary School team in 2005 and was a champion for all students, the statement said. In the evenings, she worked as a homework helper at the support centre. Officials said she had aspirations to be an administrator.
“Dawn will be deeply missed and this sudden loss is being felt across our Board,” officials wrote.
Stephanie Lacroix, Timmins, Ont.
Stephanie Lacroix was passionate about youth education and life skills development in both Canada and southern Africa.
She was working with the United Nations Association in Canada to help engage young Canadians in the UN’s work to grow global citizens as a project officer with the association’s Canada Service Corps, her LinkedIn profile says.
She graduated in 2015 with an honours degree in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa.
WATCH: These are the Canadian victims of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302
She was a board member of the African Community Fund for Education Canada and previously volunteered with Free the Children.
Her mother Sylvie Lamarche Lacroix of Timmins, Ont., confirmed her death in a Facebook message.
In an interview, Jasveen Brar said she met Lacroix at COP24 in Poland.
“She was a mentor to me and the two other guys that were selected for the conference. Since the COP, we kept in touch over email, where she offered me lots of advice about my career and life, she really was a star,” Brar said.
Environmental non-profit Parvati.org confirmed that its founding member, Darcy Belanger, was one of the victims of the crash.
Belanger was travelling to Nairobi for the UN Environment Assembly, having taken time off from his job as director of professional development at construction company PCL, Parvati.org said in a statement.
He had been working to spread awareness about an initiative called the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS).
The NGO shared a selfie video taken by Belanger during his layover in Washington, D.C. en route to Nairobi. In it, Belanger said he was excited about the work that lay ahead in spreading awareness about the MAPS initiative at the UN Environment Assembly.
“Admired for his courage, outstanding achievements and noble qualities, Darcy was a hero in every sense of the word. He was passionately devoted to the protection of all life through the realization of MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary,” the NGO said in a statement.
“Darcy was truly a champion and a force of nature, one whose passing leaves an unimaginable gap in this work as well as in the lives of his family, friends and colleagues. Yet he also leaves us with a deep determination to honour his legacy of courage, compassion and focus.”
“Our MAPS global family, hundreds strong and all volunteers, is rallying like never before to ensure that all Darcy’s work is seen through to completion.”
Angela Rehhorn, Orillia, Ont.
The Canadian Wildlife Federation said Monday that Angela Rehhorn, one of the organization’s Canadian Conservation Corps participants, died in the plane crash.
Rehhorn was on her way to Kenya with the United Nations Association of Canada, and was a recent graduate of Dalhousie University, the CWF statement said.
“Being selected to attend this UN Assembly is a testament to the tremendous contributions and value Angela and her fellow CCC cohorts bring to the future of conservation,” the statement read.
WATCH: Friends, family mourn the death of Dalhousie University graduate on Ethiopian Airlines
Dixit-Vaidya family, Brampton, Ont.
The Peel District School Board confirmed Monday that two of its students, Anushka (13) and Ashka Dixit (14), were killed in the plane crash.
The children were accompanied by their parents, Prerit Dixit (45) and Kosha Vaidya (37). Their grandparents, Pannagesh Vaidya (73) and Hansini Vaidya (67) were also aboard the fatal flight.
WATCH: Brampton family of 6 identified as victims of Ethiopian plane crash
“I miss them a lot,” said Kosha’s brother Manant Vaidya. “I don’t really believe this has happened. I’m still in the shock phase.”
Vaidya said his parents were from Gujarat, India, but they lived in Kenya for three or four years and Kosha was born there. The family later returned to India, and Kosha moved to Ontario in 2004 after marrying her husband, who already lived in Canada, he said.
Their family vacation to Kenya was supposed to be her first visit to her birthplace in decades, and the teenage girls were excited to go on a safari there, said Manant.
“They wanted to see what was it is like to see all the animals on the ground, without any cages. It was really going to be a great experience for them,” he said.
The girls were both taking specialized science and technology courses and getting good grades, Manant said. The elder daughter, Ashka, had a beautiful singing voice while Anushka was talented in dance, learning a traditional Indian form called kathak, he said.
He said his brother-in-law worked as a medical lab assistant for LifeLabs and also held a job at Ontario’s Ministry of Health. His sister used to work for the Canadian Hearing Society, he said.
Micah Messent, Courtenay, B.C.
A friend confirmed to Global News Monday that Micah John Messent, from Courtenay, B.C., was one of the victims killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash.
Messent was an Indigenous relations analyst with B.C. Parks, according to his Linkedin page.
According to a blog post on Ocean Bridge, Messent graduated high school in 2013 and went to the Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, B.C. where he completed his degree in Indigenous studies.
VIU paid tribute Messent in a statement, saying, “Micah was an engaged member of our community, contributing his time, energy and talents to his fellow students.”
In a Facebook post published on March 9, Messent said he was attending the UN conference in Kenya.
“Pretty stoked to announce that I’ve been selected by United Nations Association In Canada … Im so grateful for this opportunity and want to thank all of the people in my life who have helped me get this far. Wish me luck!”
Danielle Moore, Scarborough, Ont.
Twenty-four-year-old Danielle Moore was identified as a victim of the crash on Sunday evening. Originally from Scarborough, Ont., Moore was on her way to Nairobi, Kenya, to partake in a major United Nations environmental conference — the UN Environment Assembly is set to begin on Monday in Kenya’s capital.
She posted on Facebook about her attendance at the conference just one day before the crash.
“I’m so excited to share that I’ve been selected to attend and am currently en route to the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya with United Nations Association In Canada and #CanadaServiceCorps / #LeadersToday! Over the next week I’ll have the opportunity to discuss global environmental issues, share stories, and connect with other youth and leaders from all over the world,” her Facebook post read.
According to her Facebook page, Moore studied marine biology at Dalhousie University and spent a month at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences in 2015.
She was currently working both as a member of the clean-ocean advocacy group Ocean Wise and as an education lead with the popular coding school Code Mobile, Canada Learning Code’s mobile program.
Her brother David posted a statement to Facebook on behalf of the Moore family. He said his sister had a passion for the environment and education and had just been accepted into teacher’s college at the University of Ottawa.
WATCH: Family, friends speaking about Danielle Moore, one of 18 Canadians killed in Ethiopian plane crash
“She recognized that tolerance of differences and cultures is critical — don’t judge others until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. She valued real, honest relationships by making friends from coast to coast to coast — everywhere she went,” he said.
“With her loss, we hope she inspires others to carry on with her energy and focus to make the world a better place. And in her own words: ‘What are you going to do with the time you have here?'”
Derick Lwugi, Calgary
Family members confirmed that Derick Lwugi, 45, of Calgary, was one of the crash victims. He leaves behind a wife, two daughters and a son, Prince Kivia.
“I didn’t think that was his plane,” Kivia said on Sunday. “I just didn’t believe it.
“He was probably the greatest man that I’ve ever known. He was a role model to anyone that ever encountered him. He was a role model to me especially. I always found that he was probably the strongest person I ever knew, and he never did anything wrong in my eyes.”
WATCH: Calgarian Derick Lwugi, 45, was one of the victims in an Ethiopian Airlines crash
Lwugi was a leader in Calgary’s Kenyan community, Kivia said.
“He’s always tried to help out and unite everyone in every possible way that he could,” he said. “He’s always loved the Kenyan community and cherished every single minute that he gets to spend with all the Kenyans that he encountered here in Calgary.
“He’s always worked hard for what he believes in.”
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi tweeted about Lwygi on Sunday evening, saying he was “absolutely crushed” to learn of his death.
Amina Odowa and her daughter, Sofia Abdulkadir, Edmonton
The 33-year-old Edmonton woman and her five year-old daughter were travelling to Kenya to visit with relatives.
Her brother, Mohamed Hassan Ali, of Toronto, said he had planned to travel with them but had to cancel last week.
“She liked to travel back home quite often to visit family,” Ali said.
He said Odowa has two other children, daughters aged three and seven, and worked as a supervisor at a local company.
“It’s heartbreaking especially for her kids and my mom — she’s just beyond devastation,” he said.
Pius Adesanmi, Ottawa
A Carleton University professor was among the Canadians killed, the university has confirmed.
Pius Adesanmi, an English professor and director of the university’s Institute of African Studies, was identified as one of the victims of the crash, the university said in a statement.
“Pius was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship, and his sudden loss is a tragedy,” Benoit-Antoine Bacon, president and vice-chancellor of Carleton University, said in a release.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who knew and loved him, and with everyone who suffered loss in the tragic crash in Ethiopia.”
Pauline Rankin, dean of the university’s faculty of arts and social sciences, said Nigerian-born Adesanmi was a key figure in building the Institute of African Studies.
“The contributions of Pius Adesanmi to Carleton are immeasurable,” Rankin said. “He worked tirelessly to build the Institute of African Studies, to share his boundless passion for African literature and to connect with and support students. He was a scholar and teacher of the highest calibre who leaves a deep imprint on Carleton.”
WATCH: 18 Canadians among those on board Ethiopian plane that crashed, Kenyan minister says
Peter DeMarsh, New Brunswick
On Monday, forestry groups identified Peter DeMarsh, a New Brunswick man, as one of the 18 Canadians who died in the crash.
The Kenya Forest Service and the Family Forest Nepal Facebook pages both wrote posts offering condolences to the family of DeMarsh of International Family Forestry Alliance.
The Kenya Forest Service post said DeMarsh was en route to Nairobi to attend a workshop on “access to international climate finance for small holder farmers.”
Jessica Hyba, Ottawa
On Monday, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees identified one of its Canadian-born employees among one of the victims of the deadly crash.
The UNHCR identified the woman as Jessica Hyba, who was working as the organization’s senior external relations officer.
Hyba formerly worked for the Canadian branch of CARE, an international humanitarian relief agency. CARE Canada, whose offices are in Ottawa, said in a statement on Monday that Hyba worked with the organization early in her career, both in Canada and in Indonesia.
“Jess joined us in 2001 here in the Ottawa office and she was a spark right from the beginning,” CARE Canada CEO Gillian Barth said.
WATCH: Man who missed Ethiopian flight recalls moment he found out about plane crash
“She more or less came in and during her hiring process, she said: ‘I know I don’t exactly have the type of experience that you’re looking for but just give me a chance.’ And we couldn’t resist because she just seemed to be such an extraordinary human being, even at the interview stage. So we brought her on and we really saw what she was able to do over the next few years while she worked with us in Ottawa.”
— With files from Kaylen Small, Jennifer Ivanov, Michael King, the Associated Press and the Canadian Press
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