Linda O'Leary found not guilty of careless driving in fatal boat crash

·1 min read

Linda O'Leary has been found not guilty of careless operation of a vessel in a boat crash that killed two people in central Ontario two years ago.

O'Leary, the wife of celebrity businessman Kevin O'Leary, was charged under the Canada Shipping Act following the Aug. 24, 2019 collision on Lake Joseph, north of Toronto.

Linda O'Leary was at the helm of the boat at the time. Her husband was on board, as was a family friend.

Two people on the other boat -- Gary Poltash, 64, of Florida, and Suzana Brito, 48, from Uxbridge, Ont. -- died from their injuries. Three others were also hurt.

In delivering his verdict, Ontario Court Justice Richard Humphrey said prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that O'Leary was operating the boat without due care or consideration for others at the time.

The judge noted there was also insufficient evidence to determine the speed at which her boat was travelling, or what speed would have been appropriate under the circumstances.

Humphrey also found that the other boat had its lights off when it was struck, despite testimony from passengers who said some of the lights were on. The lights were a central issue during trial.

The verdict was delivered this morning at a hearing in Parry Sound, Ont., that was also livestreamed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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