Carole Morash is still reeling from the news of her grandson’s tragic death last week.
Nathan Scott Reynolds was working as part of a Hydro One crew on Highway 11, just over 45 minutes from Kapuskasing where he lived, when the utility terrain vehicle (UTV) he was in was struck by a pickup truck on June 15.
“It just seems very unreal,” said Morash, who had lived in Barrie for nearly 20 years before moving to Moonstone. “It’s just been so tragic (and) it still doesn’t feel real. I still think Nathan is going to come home.”
Cochrane OPP told BarrieToday that because the investigation is ongoing, they were unable to release any additional details on what caused the collision or what, if any, charges may be laid against the driver of the truck.
“It was very, very terrible. He was killed instantly,” Morash said Monday. “The other two guys tried to do CPR, but it was too late.”
Reynolds' colleagues who witnessed the crash, Morash said, are notably distraught and are not wanting to return to work.
“My grandson was 27 and he had everything going for him. He got married about three years ago and he was a fisherman and a hunter," she said.
The victim's uncle, Stephen Morash, said "the news has been devastating to his wife, parents, family, friends and co-workers."
Aside from his wife, fishing was his favourite thing in life, Morash said.
“He loved to hunt and fish. He was always posting his pictures of himself out fishing. He told me he would be out fishing every day of the year if he could,” she said. “He would go out, even ice fishing, and everybody else would maybe get one (fish) and Nathan would get about five. He had that knack.”
Reynolds, who was born and raised in Bracebridge after his parents relocated to the area from Barrie, was a third-generation linesman with Hydro One, Morash said, adding it was all he’d ever wanted to be since he was a child.
Hydro One has gone out of its way to help the family with the funeral and to help his widow, Morash said.
“The safety of our employees is paramount and Hydro One is supporting the OPP and the Ministry of Labour in their investigation into the incident,” Hydro One spokesperson Alex Stewart said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and teammates.
"We're doing everything we can to support those affected as we seek to understand what led to this tragedy," Stewart added. "Out of respect for the family, this is all the information we are sharing at this time.”
Morash said the young couple always liked to keep busy, recently deciding they wanted to raise chickens and had come to Barrie the weekend before he was killed.
“So my son-in-law, Nathan, and Lindsay made a big chicken coop and on Saturday morning Nathan phoned me and said, ‘Hey, Grandma, we’re just down the road 10 minutes, are you up?” she said. “They came over with their four chickens and had breakfast with us and we had a really nice chat.
"That’s the last time we saw him.”
Visitation is scheduled for Thursday, June 24 at the Bracebridge Fairgrounds from 2-4 p.m. and from 6-9 p.m. Attendance is limited to a maximum of 38 people, spread over 45-minute intervals and family and friends planning to attend are being asked to RSVP online to reserve their time slot.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family.