Delaram Dadashnejad, centre, was one of 63 Canadians killed in the Ukrainian International Airlines plane crash over Iran on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 202. (Sia Ahmadi)

‘Full of smiles’: Friend mourns Iran plane crash victim who wanted to build a life in Canada

Delaram Dadashnejad was studying to become a dietician

The Langara College student who died when a Ukrainian flight crashed near Iran’s capital on Wednesday was planning to build a new life in Canada.

Delaram Dadashnejad, 26, was one of at least 13 British Columbians killed in the crash. In total, all 176 people on board, at least 63 of them Canadians, died.

“I was supposed to pick her up at the airport,” Dadashnejad’s friend, Sia Ahmadi, told Black Press Media by phone.

Ahmadi and Dadashnejad first met at a New Year’s party in 2015, and reconnected three years later to become close friends.

“She was a very energetic, cheerful person. Always full of smiles, helping others,” he said. “She always put her friends’ needs above her own.”

Ahmadi heard about the crash early Wednesday morning. He was going to pick Dadashnejad up at the airport when he saw the news reports. He scrambled to see who the victims were before finding his friend’s name on the list.

READ MORE: At least 13 people from B.C. among victims in fatal Iran plane crash

Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS572 had been headed to Kiev on a popular flight for Iranian-Canadians. There are no flights between Canada and Iran, after the two severed diplomatic relations in 2012.

Iranian officials said the crash was a result of technical failures, but on Thursday morning, the United States and Canada claimed the plane had likely been shot down by an Iranian missile.

Dadashnejad had been spending the holidays in Iran with her parents. She was supposed to have taken a Dec. 17 flight along with her sister, but ended up needing to take Wednesday’s flight instead.

“She studies… well, studied at Langara College,” Ahmadi said, the news of his friend’s death still raw as he spoke.

Dadashnejad came to Canada a few years ago to learn English and was studying to be a dietician at the Vancouver school. She planned to finish her studies at the University of B.C.

She was an active member of her community, volunteering frequently and working at St. Paul’s Hospital.

“She wanted to finish her degree and become a dietician. She wanted to stay in Canada,” Ahmadi said.

Delaram Dadashnejad was one of at least 63 Canadians killed in the Ukrainian International Airlines plane crash in Iran on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. (Sia Ahmadi)

He and other friends had hoped to hold a memorial for her Wednesday night, but called it off.

“A lot of people, including myself, just weren’t ready,” he said. “I still don’t know how to deal with it.”

He said he is thankful for the messages of support he’s received from others and is heartened by how Canadians have come together to mourn so many of their own.

“I think Canada has been supportive of the Iranian community. I saw the prime minister’s message and I think that’s important for the families.”

It will take time for Ahmadi to come to terms his friend’s death.

“I’ve never been through something like this,” he said. “It’s devastating.”

READ MORE: ‘Highly likely’ Iran downed Ukrainian jetliner, U.S. officials say

READ MORE: Iran says Ukrainian plane was on fire, tried to turn back before crash


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Truck partially swallowed by Esquimalt sinkhole

City of Victoria crews repaired water main break, patched up hole on Tuesday

Saanich and Victoria agree on terms of reference to further amalgamation study

Municipalities put forward funding request to province

BC Transit seeks feedback for proposed route changes to Esquimalt, View Royal

Feedback can be collected through open houses, survey

Greater Victoria School District will rename George Jay Elementary

The board will develop a committee to choose a new name

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Greater Victoria’s wanted list for the week of Jan. 28

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

Police search north of Williams Lake prompts warning to residents to stay inside

Officers also warn drivers near Lynes Creek Road not to pick up pedestrians

60% of Canadian workers would take a pay cut for better mental health support: survey

Survey found 77% of workers would leave for better wellness initiatives

Runaway rail car reported on same B.C. train line as fatal 2019 derailment

CP Rail confirmed the incident happened on Jan. 14.

Police arrest Baby Bear statue thief in Island community

Suspect alleged to be responsible for other crimes in Chemainus, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Alberta

‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

Itcha-Ilgachuz herd numbers down to 385, from 2,800 in 2003

RCMP to review fatal B.C. train derailment investigation after evidence points to ‘cover up’

The derailment, which occurred on Feb. 4, 2019, killed three men from Calgary

Most Read