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.

Flight 752 crash in Iran

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

Just Posted

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Paddling through life

Pehowich is a mother, business owner, basketball coach and paddleboarder

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Emergency services respond to numerous incidents in Revelstoke

Today there were multiple semi truck crashes on Highway 1 and a collision by the hospital

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

COVID-19: Staying home in Shuswap is difficult when you don’t have one

As the snow flies, people without homes in Salmon Arm talk about how tough life is

Okanagan family shares story of son’s cancer recovery to encourage blood donation

Finlay Ritson’s parents can’t donate blood, but hope his story will encourage others to do so

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Vernon politician questions if response to COVID-19 worse than virus

Precautions make sense but destroying economy in process doesn’t, says Coun. Scott Anderson

‘Always look on the sunny side,’ Okanagan senior says

Heaton Place resident shares story of growing up in Roaring Twenties

92-year-old Vernon woman crochets 1,000 toques for donation

Daisy Ferguson has been working on the toque project for the past six years

Most Read