'Shark Tank' Star Kevin O'Leary Releases First Statement After Fatal Boat Crash Leaves 2 Dead

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary is speaking out following his involvement in a fatal boat crash in Ontario over the weekend. In a statement released to The Blast on Wednesday, Aug. 28, just hours after the death toll of the collision rose to two, O’Leary said that he was “devastated.” He added that he is sending “heartfelt prayers and condolences" to the victims and their families.

On Wednesday, just four days after the collision occurred on the night of Saturday, Aug. 24, Canadian authorities confirmed that a second victim had succumbed to their injuries. Susanne Brito, a 48-year-old mother of three from Uxbridge, Ontario, passed away in the hospital after having been left critically injured. She had reportedly still been breathing when medical personnel arrived at the scene and was kept alive so that her organs could be donated.

Florida resident Gary Poltash, 64, also died as a result of the crash. It is believed that Poltash died immediately after O’Leary’s smaller boat, driven by his wife Linda O’Leary, went over the bow of the 13-person craft, which was returning to a nearby cottage during a pleasure cruise.

Three others were left injured and were treated for minor injuries at the hospital. They have since been discharged.

An investigation is ongoing, and no charges have yet been filed against either party. Linda was reportedly administered a DUI test at the scene and passed.

There are conflicting reports regarding which boat fled the scene, with the Shark Tank star insisting the larger boat had done such. There are also conflicting reports regarding whether or not the larger boat had its navigation lights on, which could determine if anyone aboard O’Leary’s boat is charged.

O’Leary claims that video of the accident exists and would be a “smoking gun” that would exonerate both himself and his wife. He is currently looking to have the footage enhanced. It is unclear if authorities have seen the video.


O'Leary and Linda are believed to have two boats on Lake Joseph, where they have a lake house and from where they frequently share photos. Linda has since made her Instagram account private following the accident.

The Canadian entrepreneur, nicknamed "Mr. Wonderful" on Shark Tank, has been a staple on the ABC series since its inception back in 2009. He is set to return for Shark Tank’s 11th season alongside fellow sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Daymond Jones, and Robert Herjavec.