Friends and families share memories of Canadians who died in Ethiopian plane crash

by - 4 min read

Friends and families share memories of Canadians who died in Ethiopian plane crash

by - 4 min read


Friends, family members, and colleagues of the 18 Canadians killed in Sunday’s Ethiopian Airlines crash are sharing their grief and their memories.

The Canadians are among 157 people from 35 countries who died when the Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed shortly after taking off from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa bound for Nairobi.

Among them are:

Pius Adesanmi

Pius Adesanmi was a professor at Carleton University. (Facebook )

Pius Adesanmi, the Nigeria-born director of Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies, was also a professor at the Ottawa school.

“Pius was a towering figure in African and post-colonial scholarship and his sudden loss is a tragedy,” said Benoit-Antoine Bacon, Carleton’s president and vice-chancellor. Adesanmi was the winner of the inaugural Penguin Prize for African non-fiction writing in 2010.

Amina Ibrahim Odowa and Sofia Abdulkadir

Amina Ibrahim Odowa, 33, of Edmonton, and her daughter Sofia Abdulkadir, 5, died in the crash. (Submitted by Mohamed Ali)

Edmonton resident Amina Ibrahim Odowa, 33, and her daughter Sofia Abdulkadir, 5, were also killed, a family member confirmed to CBC News.

Odowa leaves behind two daughters, ages seven and three. 

Anushka and Ashka Dixit

The Peel District School Board says it was told by police that two of its students, Anushka and Ashka Dixit, were among the dead, along with their parents and grandparents. The board did not identify the other family members. 

Derick Lwugi

Derick Lwugi, 53, an accountant from Calgary and community volunteer, also died in the crash. (Facebook via Canadian Press)

Derick Lwugi, an accountant from Calgary, also died, a family friend told CBC News. 

Lwugi, 53, who volunteered as an assistant pastor, sat on the board of the non-profit Abeingo Association Canada and founded the Kenyan Community in Calgary group.

Danielle Moore 

Danielle Moore, who grew up in Toronto but was living in Winnipeg, was on her way to a UN conference in Nairobi. (Submitted by Ryan Oliver)

Danielle Moore, 24, who grew up in Toronto and worked in Winnipeg at the charity Canada Learning Code, was also killed. She was described by family and friends as an activist who raised her voice for Indigenous rights, climate change, food security and the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition.

Moore was among a group headed to a United Nations environmental conference.  

Micah Messent

Micah Messent of Vancouver Island was also en route to the UN conference. (Micah Messent/Facebook)

Friends of another young environmentalist, Micah Messent from Vancouver Island, are  mourning his death. CBC News spoke to his family, who acknowledged the reports, but said they did not want to comment. 

Messent was heading to the same UN conference, which he posted about on his Instagram the day before the crash.

Peter deMarsh

Peter deMarsh, of Taymouth, N.B., was chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance and of the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners. (Family Forest Nepal Facebook page)

Peter deMarsh of Taymouth, N.B., was also killed.

“Our circle was broken today with the sudden tragic loss of my beloved brother Peter on the Ethiopian Airlines crash this morning,” his sister, Helen deMarsh, wrote on Facebook. “He was profoundly dear to me, I looked up to him and I will miss him every day for the rest of my life. Just days ago he met me at the airport with the biggest hug and warmest welcome.”

He was chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance and of the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners. The Kenya Forest Service said in a Facebook post that deMarsh was en route to Nairobi to attend a workshop on “access to international climate finance for small holder farmers.”

Jessica Hyba

Jessica Hyba was a communications officer for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. (Facebook)

A spokesperson for the UN High Commission for Refugees said Canadian-born Jessica Hyba joined the organization in Iraq in 2013 and had also worked at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva. She had recently been appointed senior external relations officer based in Mogadishu and was “eager to get back to the field and working with refugees again,” Joung-ah Ghedini-Williams said. “Prior to UNHCR, Jessica had a long and distinguished service with Care Canada, Care International and UNICEF.”

Hyba, 43, leaves behind two daughters, aged nine and 12.

Prime minister reacts

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent condolences via Twitter to the families. The government also provided a phone number for Canadians in Ethiopia to call for consular assistance.

The other Canadians who died in the crash have yet to be identified. 

This story originally appeared on CBC