'Shark Tank' Host's Wife Charged In Deadly Boat Crash In Canada

Two people ended up dead after a boat "Shark Tank" host Kevin O'Leary owned collided into another vessel on Lake Joseph.

By M.L. Nestel
Digital Original
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The wife of "Shark Tank" co-host Kevin O’Leary was charged by Canadian authorities for her role in a boat crash in Ontario that killed two people and wounded three others

Linda O’Leary was charged on Tuesday, September 24, with careless operation of a vessel, a law that falls under the Canada Shipping Act, according to CTV News

The driver of the other boat involved in the crash, Richard Ruh, 57, of Orchard Park, NY, was also charged for failing to exhibit navigation light while underway, the outlet reports, citing a statement made by the Ontario Provincial Police.

The deadly crash occurred at around 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 24, over Lake Joseph and shortly after a fireworks display had finished. 

"Shark Tank" star Kevin O’Leary and another passenger were aboard a small boat that he and Linda own. Linda was driving when the vessel apparently went over the bow of a larger boat, according to The Toronto Sun

The collision led to the instant death of 64-year-old Floridian and father of two Gary Poltash. A 48-year-old woman named Susanne Brito, a mother of three from Ontario, succumbed to injuries after being transported to a hospital.

Three others were sent to the hospital with injuries and subsequently treated and released.

Kevin And Linda Oleary G

Kevin initially accused the opposing boat involved in the collision of failing to turn on its navigational lights, reports the Toronto Sun, which witnesses denied.

But the showbiz businessman also offered condolences to the families of the deceased.

“On late Saturday night I was a passenger in a boat that was involved in a tragic collision with another watercraft that had no navigation lights on and then fled the scene. I am fully cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation,” Kevin told PEOPLE in a statement. “Out of respect for the victims families and to fully support the ongoing investigation I feel it is inappropriate to make further comments at this time. My heartfelt prayers and condolences to the victims, the families and those affected by this loss.”

Brian Greenspan, an attorney representing Linda, criticized the decision to bring criminal charges, claiming the boat crash was "a terrible tragedy." 

"We find it regrettable that the OPP has chosen to charged Mrs. O'Leary under the shipping regulations in circumstances where the person has always been a cautious, and certainly experienced boater, came in a collision with an unlit craft on a dark and moonless night on Lake Joseph," he said in a statement to CTV.

If found guilty of careless operation of a vessel, Linda could serve 18 months in prison and pay as much as a $1 million dollar fine, the station reported.

Linda is due to appear in a Parry Sound, Ontario court on Oct. 29.

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