By Sophie Gray, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Osoyoos Times
The sun was shining on Osoyoos Lake Monday night when RCMP Sgt. Jason Bayda took the family of Nicholas Trask out to the spot where he and good friend, Ryan Ellison, were killed in a fatal boat crash last year.
The boat trip marked the one year anniversary of Trask and Ellison’s deaths. Trask’s mother and sister were taken out by the sergeant to commemorate his death by visiting the spot of the crash at 7:14 PM, the exact time of his death.
Sgt. Bayda said that he offered to take the family out to the spot while speaking with them about the case.
“Although I cannot bring their loved ones back, I was hoping this small gesture would help them through these difficult times,” said Bayda.
Trask and Ellison were out fishing in a red speedboat last June when they collided at full speed with another boat. Both boats sank, with the three passengers from the second boat taken to hospital for serious injuries. Trask and Ellison were said to have been killed on impact- their bodies were later recovered by Osoyoos RCMP.
The crash, which shook the town on the sunny June evening last year, occurred between Highway 3 and Swiws Provincial Park/Haynes Point on the southeast side of the lake.
Last night’s trip out to this spot brought up emotions for both the family members and Bayda, who has been involved in the investigation into the crash since the start.
“It provided me an opportunity to learn more about their loved ones and also explain to them in more detail how this tragedy unfolded,” he said.
RCMP believe the accident was caused by a combination of severe glare from the sun limiting visibility and high speed. They will not be sending it to the B.C. Prosecution Services for charges.
Sgt Bayda took two groups out to the spot of the crash yesterday, taking one group in the morning followed by Trask’s mother and sister in the evening. Bayda is glad that he could do something for the family to commemorate Trask’s passing.
“They all told me they were very appreciative I offered to take them. But really, although it was a very sad day, I found it helped me too,” said the RCMP sergeant. “Yesterday evening, the deceased passenger’s mother, sister and I were able to shed some tears together.”
The RCMP is still wrapping up some final details, but the investigation into the crash is considered complete.
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.