Kevin O'Leary's wife is one of two people charged in fatal boat crash
Charges have been laid in connection with a fatal boat crash involving celebrity businessman Kevin O’Leary.
Gary Poltash, a 64-year-old man from Belleair Beach, Fla., and 48-year-old Uxbridge resident Susanne Brito were killed when their boat collided with another watercraft on Lake Joseph near Emerald Island in Seguin Township, Ont. at around 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 24.
Susanne Brito and Gary Poltash are seen in this composite image. (Supplied)
O’Leary was one of the passengers on board the other boat.
On Tuesday, the Ontario Provincial Police said two people had been charged in connection with the deadly incident as a result of a “thorough investigation.”
Toronto-resident Linda O’Leary, 56, has been charged with careless operation of a vessel.
Her lawyer, Brian Greenspan, called the incident "tragic" and "traumatic." He went on to say that his client was an "experienced boater" who collided with an unlit watercraft.
"She was simply proceeding home and we think this charge is inappropriate," he said. "Anyone involved in an incident, an accident, in which lives are lost, there is a great deal of unhappiness about it, a great deal of grief about it."
Linda and Kevin O'Leary are seen in this photo. (Kevin O'Leary / Facebook)
As well, New York-resident Richard Ruh, 57, has been charged with failing to exhibit navigation light while underway.
OPP spokesperson Sgt. Carolle Dionne said that investigators looked at all possible factors that could have contributed to the collision.
"I can’t speak to the specifics about the evidence that led us to these charges," Dionne said. "Everything was part of our investigation: the time of day, the weather, the conditions, number of people, alcohol, speed, the locations of both vehicles, the equipment of both vehicles."
The charges have been laid under the Canada Shipping Act, therefore the Public Prosecution Service of Canada will manage the court processes.
If convicted, careless operation of a vessel carries a sentence of up to 18 months imprisonment and up to a $1 million fine. Failing to exhibit navigation lights is a set fine, akin to a traffic ticket.
Linda O'Leary is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 29.