Kevin O’Leary’s wife was found not guilty in a boat crash that killed two people.
Linda O’Leary, the wife of renowned businessman and Shark Tank judge Kevin O’Leary, was found not guilty on Tuesday in connection with a boat tragedy in Canada in 2019 that killed two people.
After a catastrophic incident two summers ago on Lake Joseph, north of Toronto, O’Leary was facing a violation under the Canada Shipping Act for recklessly operating a boat. In a hearing in Parry Sound, Ontario, the jury returned a not guilty decision this morning.
According to the Toronto Star, O’Leary was driving the boat after attending a dinner party when it collided with a larger yacht that had stopped to allow passengers to stargaze.
The impact killed two people. Gary Poltash, 64, was hit by the O’Learys boat and died instantly, according to this website. Susanne Brito, a 48-year-old lady, was the second casualty, dying in a hospital a few days later.
Following the collision, conflicting stories emerged, with the O’Learys informing authorities that the other boat had no lights on and fled the scene, while passengers aboard the other ship claimed that the O’Learys had fled.
In the days following the tragedy, O’Leary issued a statement saying she was “completely working with authorities” and that her “thoughts are with all the families affected” by the fatal collision. She was later charged with negligent boat operating and faced a punishment of $10,000.
According to the Star, prosecutors claimed O’Leary broke the Canada Shipping Act by driving the ship at a high speed at night without concern for “what may or may not be in front of you.” According to CTV News, there were also allegations that O’Leary was driving the boat while inebriated.
O’Leary’s defense lawyer countered that her speed could not be assessed and that there was substantial evidence that the other boat’s lights were turned off, thereby leaving it “invisible.”
According to the Star, Justice Richard Humphrey concurred with that judgment on Tuesday, finding that it was impossible to tell how fast the vessel was sailing, “much less that it was excessive.” The judge also found that “alcohol played no role” in O’Leary’s operation on her. This is a condensed version of the information.