Family identifies two others who died in Gabriola Island plane crash

Watch A close family friend mourns couple's passing and says the community wants to support their children

Family has identified the two other people who died in the plane crash on Gabriola Island on Dec. 10 as Allan and Katheryn Boudreau.

The couple, who were both 53, started Island Hothouse in Saltair, where sweet bell peppers were grown. They ran the business for 15 years and sold it two years ago. Allan and Katheryn then moved to a Saltair waterfront property where they were still residing prior to the crash.

Their children told CHEK they are feeling heartbroken.

Friend Gwen Jahelka, who has vacationed with them in Mexico, says the couple was a lot of fun and remarkable.

“They were both very talented and very bright and had many gifts. Allan had that business mind, that business sense,” said Jahelka.

“I mean they started a greenhouse without any farming background or any knowledge of that sort. Very hard working.”

Friends say the couple came to Nanaimo from Ontario and Allan worked as a gas fitter. They eventually moved to Saltair where they started Island Hothouse. They specialized in peppers first because it was a cash crop.

Katheryn, a talented digital artist, came up with the company’s logo which is still used today.

They were very involved in the Catholic community, attended St. Joesph’s as parishioners, and their three children attended the school.

They sold Island Hothouse after a fire at their home. As a result, Allan spent more time with his two aircraft and getting his pilot’s license.

They leave behind three adult children.

“To lose both parents at once I just imagine the devastation that they’re experiencing,” said Jahelka.

“Our hearts go out to them and our prayers are with them and we just want the best for them.”

Transport Canada said there were three fatalities in the crash of the privately registered Piper plane flying from Bishop, Calif., to Nanaimo, B.C. shortly after 6 p.m.

The agency reported the information on Friday in its Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System.

According to the report, a Piper Aerostar was approaching Nanaimo using an instrument landing system when an “an equipment issue” was reported. The plane deviated from the approach prior to dropping off of the radar.

Nav Canada is the company that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation service. CADORS reports are preliminary and are subject to change.

The BC Coroners Service also said on Dec. 13 it had identified one of the three fatalities in the plane crash as a man in his 60s from Mill Bay, B.C., while it’s still working to confirm the identities of the other man and woman.

Friends have said charter pilot Alex Bahlsen,61, was among those killed, describing him as a very good friend and grandfather who lived with his wife in Mill Bay.

According to friends, Bahlsen was born in Germany and moved to Cayley, Alta., 30 years ago before relocating to Mill Bay about a year ago.

“He was a kind, caring, very intelligent, adventurous and fun guy – very talented,” said his friend Rasmus Rydstrom-Poulsen.

With files from The Canadian Press


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