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Coroner’s report reveals use of drugs contributed to fatal boat crash on Osoyoos Lake

Nicholas Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, both died when the speedboat they were in collided with an aluminum boat on Osoyoos Lake in June 2019.
Nicholas Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, both died when the speedboat they were in collided with an aluminum boat on Osoyoos Lake in June 2019. Contibuted

A B.C. coroner’s report has concluded that the use of drugs contributed to a boat crash on Osoyoos Lake that claimed the lives of two friends in June 2019.

Nicholas Trask, 36 of Maple Ride, and Ryan Ellison, 35 of Kamloops, died after the speedboat they were in collided with another boat with three people on board.

The three people in the other vessel were rescued and transported to hospital with minor injuries.

Read more: Osoyoos boat collision caught on surveillance video camera

It was June 8 2019, when the two men ventured out on the lake for an early evening fishing expedition.

The boat the pair were in, a red 16-foot Cobra that belonged to Ellison, collided with an aluminum fish boat around 7:15 p.m.

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Both boats sank.

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The bodies of Trask and Ellison were recovered a day later by the RCMP underwater recovery team.

A year after the crash, RCMP said the crash was a “tragic accident” caused by both “speed and reduced visibility due to sun in the deceased driver’s eyes.”

Now a coroner’s report has also found drug impairment was a contributing factor.

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

“Use of methamphetamine by the boat operator, excessive speed of the vessel for the reduced
visibility created by the sun, and the failure of the other vessel to give-way were contributory factors,” stated the report.

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The cause of deaths, according to the report, was blunt force injuries sustained in a motorboat incident.

The Coroner’s Service classified the deaths as accidental and made no recommendations.

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