These are the Canadians who died in the Ethiopian plane crash

by - 6 min read

These are the Canadians who died in the Ethiopian plane crash

by - 6 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. They were on their way to visit family, a family member told CBC News.

Odowa’s brother, Mohamed Ali, described his niece as “the favourite child” of everybody in the family. “She had her own mind, and she always wanted things done the way she liked,” he said. “She was amazing.”

Odowa leaves behind two daughters, ages seven and three. 

Kosha Vaidya and Prerit Dixit; Anushka and Ashka Dixit; Hansini and Pannagesh Vaidya

Pannagesh and Hansini Vaidya, pictured in an undated Facebook photo, died in the plane crash Sunday, along with daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren Ashka and Anushka. (Facebook via Canadian Press)

Left to right: Ashka Dixit, Prerit Dixit, Kosha Vaidya, and Anushka Dixit. (Pramesh Nandi/Facebook )

The Peel District School Board said two of its students, Anushka, 13, and Ashka Dixit, 14, were among the dead, along with their parents, Kosha Vaidya, 37, and her husband Prerit Dixit, 45, and grandparents, PannageshVaidya, 73, and his wife, Hansini Vaidya, 67. 

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown confirmed the six were among the 18 Canadians killed, calling it “an unbelievably tragic situation for the family.”

Derick Lwugi

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

Derick Lwugi, 53, was an accountant from Calgary. 

Lwugi, 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.

He leaves behind his wife Gladys Kivia, a domestic violence counsellor with the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, and three children, ages 17, 19 and 20.

Danielle Moore 

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

Danielle Moore, 24, grew up in Toronto and worked in Winnipeg at the charity Canada Learning Code. 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 Environment Assembly. She was also a recent Dalhousie University grad.

“Danielle was exceptional in every sense,” said Kim Davies, her former research adviser speaking on behalf of the members of Moore’s former lab at Dalhousie. “She excelled at her studies, she was a kind and friendly person, and she was deeply devoted to environmental and human rights causes.”

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.

Angela Rehhorn 

Angela Rehhorn was part of the United Nations Association of Canada’s delegation to the UN Assembly in Nairobi, representing the Canada Service Corps Program. (Canadian Wildlife Federation)

The Canadian Wildlife Federation posted on its Facebook page that CWF Canadian Conservation Corps participant Angela Rehhorn was also heading to the UN Environment Assembly. 

“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,” said Rick Bates, CWF CEO in the post. “Angela shared the excitement and optimism of volunteering and working to improve our world. Her life is an inspiration to us all.”

Rehhorn was originally from Orillia, Ont., but was living in St. Andrews, N.B., and working at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre.

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 chair of the International Family Forestry Alliance and of the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners.

“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.”

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, was from Ottawa, but had lived overseas for years. She leaves behind two daughters, aged nine and 12.

Darcy Belanger

Darcy Belanger was a co-founder of, a non-profit dedicated to a healthy planet. (Roka Studios/ confirmed that one of its founding members and director of strategic initiatives, Darcy Belanger, was one of the Canadians who died in the crash. 

The non-profit organization, which describes itself as being dedicated to healthy planet, called Belanger “a hero in every sense of the word,” in a post dedicated to his memory on their website. It said he “was passionately devoted to the protection of all life through the realization of MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary,” and that he “literally gave it his life.”

He, too, was heading to the UN Environment Assembly.

Stéphanie Lacroix

Stephanie Lacroix was also working with the UN Association in Canada and heading to the UN Environment Assembly. (Stéphanie Lacroix/Facebook)

According to her LinkedIn profile, Stéphanie Lacroix was living in Ottawa and working with the United Nations Association in Canada as a project officer with the association’s Canada Service Corps. She was also a board member of the African Community Fund for Education Canada and previously volunteered with Free the Children.

Her family members, including her mother, Sylvie Lamarche Lacroix and her uncle, Gilles Lamarche, posted about their loss on Facebook. 

“Our hearts ache and will forever hold this beautiful soul with us,” her uncle wrote. “You leave an exceptional legacy of love and service, and will be missed by thousands. You left your mark without a doubt and made a BIG difference.”

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 Canadian who died in the crash has yet to be identified. 

This story originally appeared on CBC