Share this story...
Latest News

Utah man killed in Alaska cruise plane crash remembered as the “best big brother a girl could ask for”

Ryan Wilk (Courtesy NuData Security)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — We are learning more about a Utah man who was killed along with his wife in the cruise ship plane crash in Alaska this week.

Two sightseeing float planes were both inbound to Ketchikan and collided Monday afternoon.

Alaska State Troopers identified the six dead as including Ryan Wilk, 39, of Utah;  Elsa Wilk, 37, of Richmond in British Columbia, Canada; and Louis Botha, 46, of San Diego.

Shannon Wilk confirmed that Ryan was married to Elsa, and Louis Botha was Elsa’s brother, so she said they lost three family members in this tragedy.

She said in a statement that her brother Ryan was the best big brother a girl could ask for.

Shannon says Ryan and Elsa lived in Canada, but owned a home in the Salt Lake area and traveled back and forth over the last few years. They were waiting for Elsa’s US residency to be finalized before moving.

“I can tell you my brother was an amazing man, son, husband, brother and uncle. We are completely devastated that we lost these three loved ones as well as the others and their families,” she said.

She also mentioned that Ryan was actually 38, not 39 years old.

Officials said there were a total of 16 people on the planes: Ten passengers and one pilot on a Taquan Air plane and four passengers and a pilot on a Mountain Air Service plane.

Princess Cruises said in a statement that “All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened by this tragic news and we are extending our full support to the investigating authorities as well as the traveling companions of the guests involved.”