Family of man killed in boat crash involving Kevin O'Leary raising money for Uxbridge victim's kids
Gary Poltash, left, and Susanne Brito, centre, were both killed in a boat crash that involved businessman Kevin O'Leary. (GoFundMe / The Canadian Press)
Sean Davidson, CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, September 5, 2019 12:48PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 5, 2019 2:43PM EDT
The family of the American man killed in a boat crash involving businessman and TV personality Kevin O’Leary is now raising funds for the children of the young Uxbridge mom who also died in the crash.
Gary Poltash, a 64-year-old man from Florida, and 48-year-old Uxbridge resident Susanne ‘Suzana’ Brito were killed after their boat collided with another watercraft on Lake Joseph around 11.30 p.m. on Aug. 24.
“Although we never got to meet her, we are told that Suzana and my father became fast friends while enjoying the beauty of lake,” Poltash’s son, Alex, wrote on the GoFundMe page.
“Gary was a true believer in the power of education, and thus we thought it appropriate to create this for the benefit of Suzana’s children.”
“It is our wish that the legacy of our father live on, and so we are establishing this GoFundMe for Liam (12), Ruby (11), and Cash (9)."
Susanne Brito died in hospital after the boat crash. (Supplied)
The Poltash family is hoping to raise USD$15,000 for the Brito children. As of Thursday afternoon, more than $4,400 had been donated.
Meanwhile, police are remaining tight-lipped on their investigation into the crash.
The Ontario Provincial Police told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday they would not be commenting any further until their investigation is complete.
Gary Poltash died at the scene and was not taken to hospital. (Supplied)
They did not specify how long the investigation would take.
Kevin O’Leary, who was not seriously injured in the crash, claimed the boat Brito and Poltash were travelling in had “no navigation lights on” and “fled the scene” following the crash.
Police have denied that either of the boats fled the scene, saying that both watercrafts left to "attend a location and both parties called 911."
The two boats involved in the crash were a 13-occupant wakeboard pleasure craft and a small ski boat, police said.
O'Leary was a passenger on one of the boats involved in the crash. (The Canadian Press)
Poltash and Brito were both on the pleasure craft. O’Leary was a passenger on the smaller ski boat, Poltash's brother said.
The funeral for Brito, who is survived by her husband and three children, was held on Saturday in Uxbridge.
In a statement sent to CTV News Toronto, Heidi Barriage described her friend, who was known as Suzana, as “kind, genuine, and vivacious.”
“I loved her from the moment we met. She didn’t take her friendships lightly and made her love known to everyone she cared for,” Barriage said.
“Suzana loved her children deeply and often spoke of her family. She never took life for granted and lived with such a positive energy that many of us will miss dearly. I’m heartbroken and will cherish our friendship forever.”
Poltash’s brother said a funeral will likely be held for him in early September in San Pedro, Calif.