Ontario Provincial Police have charged 56-year-old Linda O’Leary, the wife of celebrity businessman Kevin O’Leary, in connection with a fatal boat crash in August. O’Leary faces charges of “careless operation of a vessel,” related to an accident that happened while she was reportedly at the helm of one of two boats involved in a collision in cottage country which claimed the life of two people and injured three others.
The driver of the other boat, Richard Ruh of Orchard Park, N.Y., was also charged by the OPP, for “failing to exhibit navigation light while underway.”
This charge is in line with a previous statement by Kevin O’Leary that the other boat involved did not have its lights on.
The incident happened sometime after 11 p.m. on August 24 when the two vessels crashed on Lake Joseph. The impact killed 64-year-old Gary Poltash, from Florida, who was a passenger on the vehicle driven by Ruh. Susanne Brito, 48, from Uxbridge died in hospital two days later.
Police say three other people were treated in hospital and released.
As reported by CTV, Linda O’Leary’s lawyer Brian Greenspan said: “We find it regrettable that the OPP has chosen to charge 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.”
The charge against Linda carries a maximum punishment of 18 months in jail and a $1 million dollar fine.
The New York Post first reported that Kevin O’Leary hired celebrity lawyer Greenspan for advice following the accident. Greenspan has, in the past, defended stars such as Justin Bieber and Naomi Campbell.
An O’Leary family spokesperson said Linda O’Leary passed a drug and alcohol test after the accident. She is due to appear in a Parry Sound, Ontario, court on October 29.
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