Family and many friends are mourning two Maple Ridge men who were known for their love of outdoor adventure, killed in a boating accident on Saturday in the Okanagan.
Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died when their boat was in collision with another boat on Osoyoos Lake.
Both men lived in Maple Ridge and were part of a large circle of friends who enjoyed boating, camping, 4x4ing, snowmobiling and more. Trask leaves behind his wife of 17 years Melissa, and their two sons Vincent, 8, and Evan, 6. A Gofundme.com page has been started for online donations for the family.
He was a commercial truck driver.
Primo Cozzi, a close friend to both of the deceased, said it’s a tragedy for the young family.
“They’re such smart little boys. The conversations they’re having with me about their dad … it’s hard,” he said.
Trask also had an adopted daughter, Mariah, 18. His mother is Jill Maddigan in Abbotsford, and sister Casey Maddigan.
Ellison was single, and worked as a heavy duty mechanic for Coastal Trucking in Coquitlam.
Cozzi said Trask’s best friend for many years was Ellison’s older brother Clayton, who died in an off-road accident in Hope. Clayton was Ryan Ellison’s older brother. Afterward, the two men became much closer friends.
Ryan was the youngest of five brothers, and has two surviving brothers named Shawn. He is survived by his father, Peter of Mission, and mother Bonnie, and stepfather Rick Wiles, longtime Kamloops residents.
Trask got involved in drag racing and working on cars with his father, the late Ben Trask, and it gave him a passion for motor sports.
“He wasn’t the kind of guy to sit around and watch TV,” said Cozzi, explaining this circle of friends would spend their free time building boats and trucks, or driving them.
“Anyone in these boys’ lives… you could barely know them, and it’s like you’ve known them 30 years. They made friends. They didn’t have enemies,” he said.
“Being on the water fishing and boating – that was our life. Adventure was our life.”
Cozzi said when friends learned about the accident on Saturday, 12 people drove to Osoyoos.
Trask was the director with the Fraser Valley Drag Boat Association, and both men were experienced boaters. He said speculation is the boats were blinded by the sun, and the drivers did not see one another on the lake.
They were in Ellison’s boat when they were in collision with an aluminum vessel carrying three men, who were seriously injured. Osoyoos RCMP are investigating the incident.
A funeral for Ellison has been set for June 23, at 1 p.m. at Garden Hill Funeral Home in Maple Ridge.
The service for Trask will be held June 20 at 2 p.m. at Maple Ridge Funeral Chapel in Maple Ridge.