‘We need answers’: Wife of Osoyoos boat crash victim says families still in dark, 9 months after accident

Melissa Trask is living with the agony of losing her husband, Nicholas, in a boating accident last spring on Osoyoos Lake, while raising their two young sons without him.

The Maple Ridge woman said they still don’t have answers as to what caused the collision between two vessels on June 8, 2019.

“We just need closure. This has been the worst thing in my life to happen. Losing my partner and best friend of our 18 years together, learning how to be alone and still hold it together to raise our sons and somehow put a smile on my face for them. It’s so tragic,” she told Global News on Monday.

The family had travelled to Osoyoos for a camping trip at Nk’mip Campgrounds with their two young sons, Vincent, 9, and Evan, 7, as well as their good friend, Ryan Ellison.

Nicholas Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, ventured out on the lake for an early evening fishing expedition on June 8, 2019, while Melissa stayed back to prepare dinner, she said.

“They never returned.”

Trask said the boat the pair were on belonged to Ellison, and was a red 16-foot Cobra.

At 7:14 p.m., the Cobra and an aluminium fish boat with three people on board collided on Osoyoos Lake between Highway 3 and Swiws Provincial Park/Haynes Point, according to RCMP.

Both boats quickly sank.

“The three occupants of one boat were rescued and transported to a local area hospital,” said Sgt. Jason Bayda, but Trask and Ellison were missing.

Their bodies were recovered a day later, by the RCMP underwater recovery team. 

“We need to make sense of this. They just come and tell you your husband died but have no answers to why or how,” Trask’s wife said on Monday.

The collision was captured on surveillance video, but Melissa Trask said they haven’t been informed by police of the official cause of the accident.

Global News spoke with several eye witnesses at the time, who said the Cobra T-boned the aluminum fishing boat, but the cause has not been confirmed by authorities.

“The three boys went into the boat and they were just going across the lake peacefully and all of a sudden … a red boat came from Haynes Point — like, across — it came really fast and it hit the top part of the grey boat and it went flying, and it went down,” said witness Carmen Martins.

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