'Shark Tank' star Kevin O’Leary was passenger on boat involved in fatal crash
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, August 28, 2019 7:42AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 28, 2019 9:45PM EDT
‘Shark Tank’ star and businessman Kevin O’Leary has confirmed that he was a passenger on a boat that was involved in a fatal collision on Lake Joseph on Saturday night.
Police say two vessels collided on the lake near Emerald Island in Seguin Township at around 11:30 p.m.
A 64-year-old Florida man was pronounced dead at the scene. A 48-year-old Uxbridge woman, meanwhile, was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries but was later pronounced dead.
Police have since identified the victims as Gary Poltash and Susanne Brito.
Police say that three other occupants from the boats involved were also injured in the collision but have since been treated and released from hospital.
In a statement released by his publicist on Wednesday morning, O'Leary confirmed he was on board one of the boats involved in the collision.
“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 former Federal Conservative leadership candidate said.
“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.”
Police denied that either of the boats attempted to flee the scene, saying that both watercrafts left to "attend a location and both parties called 911."
Police say the investigation is being conducted by the OPP North East Region Crime Unit, the North East Regional Support Team, OPP Forensic Identification Services, and the OPP Technical Marine Collision Unit.
In a statement provided to CP24 on Wednesday afternoon, Uxbridge Mayor Dave Barton described Brito, who went by Suzana, as an “active member” of the community. He said that her “energy and enthusiasm will be missed by all who knew her.”
A friend of Brito’s also released a statement to CTV News Toronto on Wednesday, calling her “kind, genuine and vivacious.”
“I loved her from the moment we met. She didn’t take her friendships lightly and made her love known to everyone she care for,” Heidi Barriage said in the statement. “Suzana loved her children deeply and often spoke of her family. She never took life for granted and lived with such a positive energy that many of us will miss dearly. I’m heartbroken and will cherish our friendship forever.”