Trial begins for Linda O’Leary, charged in 2019 boat crash that killed two people


A trial has begun for Linda O’Leary – the wife of celebrity businessman Kevin O’Leary – who is charged in a boat crash that killed two people.

Linda O’Leary pleaded not guilty this morning to one charge of careless operation of a vessel under the Canada Shipping Act.

The charge relates to a collision that took place on Lake Joseph, north of Toronto, on the night of Aug. 24, 2019.

Gary Poltash, 64, from Florida died at the scene, while Suzana Brito, 48, from Uxbridge, Ont., died in hospital a few days later.

An agreed statement of facts read in court this morning says they died as a result of blunt force trauma, to either the head or the head and neck, from being struck by a boat.

The crash also left three people injured.

O’Leary’s lawyer has previously said she is a “cautious” and “experienced” boater, and described the incident as a “terrible tragedy.”

Brian Greenspan said at the time that his client broke her foot in the crash and needed surgery as a result.

The operator of the other boat, Richard Ruh, of Orchard Park, N.Y., was also charged in the incident. He faced one count of failing to exhibit a navigation light while underway.

The trial is being held in Parry Sound, Ont., but is also accessible by video conference.