In the wake of a fatal boat crash involving Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary and his wife Linda O’Leary, an education fund has been created for the children of one of the victims. Susanne "Suzana" Brito, 48, left three children behind – 12-year-old Liam, 11-year-old Ruby, and 9-year-old Cash – when she succumbed to her injuries shortly after being rushed to the hospital on the night of Saturday, Aug. 24. Now, in an effort to continue the legacy of his father, Alex Poltash has created a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $15,000.
Poltash’s 64-year-old father, Gary Poltash, had been killed “immediately” when O’Leary’s boat collided with the 13-passenger vessel he had been on.
“Many of you are aware of what happened on Lake Joseph on August 24th. While the tragedy is still fresh in our minds, we have been thinking of a way to honor and respect the values that were near and dear to our father’s heart,” Poltash wrote on the page.
“Although we never got to meet her, we are told that Suzana and my father became fast friends while enjoying the beauty of lake. Gary was a true believer in the power of education, and thus we thought it appropriate to create this for the benefit of Suzana’s children,” he continued. “It is our wish that the legacy of our father live on, and so we are establishing this GoFundMe for Liam (12), Ruby (11), and Cash (9). Please join us in honoring Suzana and my father.”
Set to remain open until Friday, Sept. 13, the campaign has already surpassed its $15,000 goal, currently sitting just above $20,000.
“I am truly humbled by the close-knit community of kind and generous people connected to Suzana and my father,” Poltash wrote in response to the donations. “To Liam, Ruby, and Cash - Please never forget that you have a loving community around you - we will always have your back!”0comments
It is unclear if O’Leary has donated to the page. The Shark Tank star, dubbed “Mr. Wonderful,” has remained mum on the accident aside from an initial statement confirming his involvement. His failure to address the collision and the victims led to backlash last week after he broke his social media silence with a tweet and an Instagram post promoting Colombia’s adaptation of Shark Tank. Many people responded to the tweet with criticism, with some encouraging O’Leary to donate to the education fund.
Currently, Canadian authorities are continuing to investigate the collision and will not release more information until the investigation is complete. While no charges have yet been filed and alcohol is not believed to have been a factor, authorities said charges will be filed “if warranted.”