US-based Ghanaian gospel musician dies on Accra-Washington flight


The late Daniel Toffey Jr.

27-year-old Ghanaian dies aboard United Airlines flight

Daniel Toffey Jnr was traveling to the United States with his father

Seven doctors on board the flight tried to save his life

A US-based Ghanaian gospel musician died aboard United Airlines Flight 997 which took off from Accra for Washington DC on Sunday, May 22, 2022.

The deceased identified as Daniel Toffey Jnr was fighting with his father Daniel Toffey Snr when he developed a medical condition which ultimately led to his death.

Even the presence of seven doctors on board United Flight 997 could not save the 27-year-old gospel musician who was days away from his birthday, according to a report by Diaspora Network Television, DNT Ghana.

A return to Ghana to attend a funeral

The Toffeys, residing in Pataskala, Ohio – a suburb of Columbus in the United States, returned home to attend the funeral of a brother-in-law.

The report added that the mother of the deceased stayed behind while Toffey Jnr and Snr returned to the United States.

It was during the return trip that he unfortunately died in the air. “He kept saying, ‘Daddy, I can’t breathe, Daddy, I can’t breathe,'” senior Toffey told DNT in an interview.

Parents of the deceased, Mr and Mrs Toffey

Cause of death and flight hijacking

According to the report, the presumed cause of death is a case of pulmonary embolism.

[A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot that develops in a blood vessel in the body (often in the leg). It then travels to a lung artery where it suddenly blocks blood flow].

Following this tragic incident, the flight was diverted to Bermuda where the 178 passengers were accommodated at the Grotto Bay Resort before continuing their journey to Washington.

Gospel Musician and Upcoming Album Launch

Toffey Junior, the report adds, worships with the Pentecost International Worship Center, PIWC, in Columbus North and was a gospel musician.

He was scheduled to launch his album on June 4 in Columbus with Joe Mettle as guest artist.

The Toffeys originate from Jomoro in the Western Region of Ghana.

The late Toffey Jnr

Witness account

The Toffeys were traveling business class when the incident occurred. Jesse Lasuer, a fellow traveler spoke about Toffey Snr’s face after the incident.

“Although he is holding himself very well, you can just see the pain in his eyes,” Lasuer observed.

Another anonymous witness wrote: “I was on the plane and witnessed all the ‘fiilifili’. Hmmm! This world is full of uncertainties.

“We were stranded at Bermuda airport for almost fifteen hours before they offered us a flight to Washington Dulles airport last night. It was a heartbreaking experience. I have never experienced such a thing in my life. Terrible. Anyway, I pray for the soul of this young man.


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