Kevin O'Leary opens up about fatal boat crash saying wife been left 'really affected'
TORONTO -- Celebrity businessman Kevin O’Leary says his wife has been “really affected” by the fatal Ontario boat crash last year and wants the forensic evidence to be completely disclosed so they can put the tragedy behind them.
Ontario woman Susanne Brito, 48, and Florida man Gary Poltash, 64, were killed when two boats collided on Lake Joseph near Emerald Island in Seguin Township, Ont. at around 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 24.
Kevin and Linda O’Leary, who own a luxury cottage on the lake, were on one of the boats involved in the collision. Linda O’Leary was driving one of the boats involved in the crash.
"What we really need is to get the forensic evidence completely disclosed to all the families," Kevin O’Leary told CP24 on Tuesday. "We all want this out."
"All the speculation and the tabloids and all that stuff, that’s unfortunate, but I feel for the victims of this horrific accident – including my family too."
"My wife, this really affects her. I feel for her obviously, I have to watch this every day."
"Let’s flush it (the investigation) with transparency. Let’s bring it forward to put it to rest for all of them.”
Linda O'Leary faces one charge of careless operation of a vessel under the Canada Shipping Act, while the operator of the other boat, Richard Ruh, of Orchard Park, N.Y., faces one charge of failing to exhibit a navigation light.
None of the allegations have been proven in court. Linda O’Leary’s case is due back in a Parry Sound, Ont. courtroom later this week.
Meanwhile, the O'Leary’s are facing a lawsuit brought forward by the family of Brito in November.
In the Statement of Claim, the family alleges the O'Learys "failed to keep a proper lookout" and "drove at too high a rate of speed for that time of night." It goes on to allege their "faculties of observation, perception, judgment and self-control were impaired due to alcohol and drugs."
"For this grieving family, it is about obtaining civil justice so as to prevent these types of deaths and curtailing reckless and dangerous behaviour from continuing on our lakes," Brito family lawyer Patrick Brown said in November.
The family is seeking $2 million.
According to court documents obtained by CTV News Toronto in November, police said Linda O’Leary had alcohol on her breath at the time of the crash.
According to the documents, "O'Leary registered an alert and was given a three day driving suspension."
"Mrs. O'Leary claims to have consumed a drink of vodka following the collision and prior to the breath test."
But police allege in these documents that O'Leary did consume alcohol prior to the collision.
In Ontario, first time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.05 and 0.08 have their licence suspended for three days and are given a $250 fine. The court document did not reveal what Linda O'Leary's blood alcohol concentration level was.
According to the documents, there were 12 people on board the other boat involved in the crash and the group was going out onto the lake to stargaze after a dinner party.
The documents say Irv Edwards, who owned the boat, "turned over control" to Richard Ruh a short distance from shore.
"While adrift without engine running and navigational lights lit, the vessel was struck by another vessel," the documents say.
According to the court documents, a short verbal exchange took place after the crash before both boats drove to shore. The documents say the O'Leary's returned to their cottage and their son, Trevor O'Leary, called 911.
The two boats involved in the crash were a 13-occupant wakeboard pleasure craft and a small ski boat.