Linda O’Leary found not guilty in fatal boat crash

Linda O'Leary found not guilty in fatal boat crash-Milenio Stadium-Ontario
In this court sketch, Justice Richard Humphrey reads the verdict during the trial of Linda O’Leary on Sept. 14, 2021, over Zoom. O’Leary was found not guilty of the careless operation of a vessel in a boat crash that killed two people in 2019. (Pam Davies/CBC)

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 at a hearing this morning in Parry Sound, Ontario court Judge Richard Humphrey said prosecutors had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that O’Leary was operating the boat without due care or consideration for others.

The judge said 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.


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