Nearly two years after Shark Tank star Kevin O'Leary and his wife Linda O'Leary were involved in a fatal boat crash, new photos have been released showing the severity of the collision. The incident, which occurred on Ontario's Lake Joseph, left two people dead and led to an ongoing trial that is set to wrap up later this week, with O'Leary scheduled to testify Wednesday via Zoom from Los Angeles.
In photos brought to court from the criminal case and obtained by TMZ, which you can view by clicking here, extensive damage can be seen sustained to the Super Air Nautique that had been carrying 12 passengers on the night of Aug. 24, 2019, when O'Leary's Cobalt boat, operated by his wife, collided with it. In the images, there is visible damage to the Super Air Nautique's nose, and there are multiple cracks and areas of chipped paint throughout the vessel. In one image, blood is visible on one of the seats. O’Leary’s boat, meanwhile, suffered far less damage in the collision, though the images show cracks and chipped paint. According to TMZ, a marine mechanic testified in court that while the Nautique had a "fair amount of damage" he expected to see more considering initial reports about the collision and the fact that parts of the Shark Tank star's boat were later found on the Nautique.
The August 2019 collision left 64-year-old Florida resident Gary Poltash and 48-year-old Susanne Brito of Ontario dead. Months after the collision, Canadian authorities leveled a charge of careless operation of a vessel against Linda, claiming that she was driving at an unsafe speed of 17 mph. Richard Ruh, the driver of the second boat, was charged with failure to exhibit navigation lights. Linda has since pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
Amid the criminal case, the O'Leary's are also facing a civil suit filed by the parents and sister of Brito. Brito's family alleged in the suit that both O'Leary and his wife were driving their vessel on the night of the collision and claims that they were "incapable of safely operating their boat because their judgment was impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigue." It was previously reported that Linda had booze on her breath following the fatal boat crash, and she reportedly told authorities that he drank vodka after the crash but before police administered an alcohol screening test. The authorities, however, believe she consumed the alcohol before the crash. Linda's lawyer Brian Greenspan insisted his client was not intoxicated at the time of the crash, previously stating that "this tragic accident had nothing to do with alcohol."
The lawsuit also claims that while the O'Learys suffered from poor vision and were prescribed glasses, they failed to wear them that night. According to the suit, the couple were texting and driving as well. The family is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.