Linda O'Leary was charged with "careless operation of a vessel" after an August crash that killed two people

By Steve Helling
September 25, 2019 11:38 AM
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An attorney for Linda O’Leary, the wife of Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, says she is not to blame for last month’s fatal boat crash in Canada that killed two people and injured three others.

“She has always been a cautious and experienced boater who came into collision with an unlit craft on a dark and moonless night,” attorney Brian Greenspan told the Los Angeles Times. “The other boat was sitting in a dark spot on a lake, no cottage lights nearby, no moon.”

According to CTV, Linda O’Leary was charged with “careless operation of a vessel” under the small vessel regulations of the Canada Shipping Act.

The operator of the other boat, Richard Ruh, was charged with “failing to exhibit navigation light while underway,” the Ontario Provincial Police said in a statement on the crash on Lake Joseph.

Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty

The incident occurred on August 24. According to the police report, the O’Learys’ boat crashed into a larger vessel, going over its bow and striking passenger Gary Potash in the head. He died instantly. Another passenger, Susanne Brito, was also killed in the crash.

Three other people suffered injuries as well; all were treated and released from the hospital.

At the time, Kevin O’Leary 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,” the 65-year-old 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.”

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Linda and Kevin O’Leary
| Credit: Jason Koerner/Getty

A rep for Kevin added at the time, “We are devastated by the event that occurred on Saturday night on Lake Joseph. Mr. O’Leary is cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation into this tragedy. We respect the investigation process being conducted by the Police, and will not comment further. Our thoughts and prayers are with victims and their families. We ask that everyone respect Mr. O’Leary and his family’s privacy during this time.”

In his interview with the LA Times, Greenspan refuted rumors that Kevin O’Leary was operating the boat at the time of the crash. “Unequivocally, clearly, without any risk of contradiction he was not the driver,” said Greenspan. “He was a passenger.”

Greenspan says that his client faces the maximum penalty of $10,000.

Authorities gave Linda O’Leary a DUI test the night of the crash. According to O’Leary’s rep, she passed the test. She is due to appear in an Ontario court on October 29.