Court documents unsealed by CBC say Linda O’Leary had alcohol on breath after fatal boat accident

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

Kevin O’Leary (YouTube Video)

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According to CBC News Linda O'Leary, wife of Kevin O'Leary, had alcohol on her breath following a fatal boating accident on Lake Joseph in the township of Seguin on Aug. 24.

According to unsealed search warrant documents requested and obtained by CBC News.

"Mrs. O'Leary was administered an alcohol screening device test and registered an alert. She was subsequently served a three-day driver's licence suspension," Ontario Provincial Police allege in the documents. "Mrs. O'Leary claims to have consumed a drink of vodka following the collision and prior to the breath test."

According to the documents, "O'Leary could not remember who handed her the drink of vodka following the collision."

A three-day suspension can occur if a person's blood-alcohol concentration is between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent. The documents don't state O'Leary's blood-alcohol level.

The documents say Gary Poltash and Susanne Brito "suffered severe head trauma" and died. Poltash, 64, was from Florida, and Brito, 48, was from Uxbridge, Ont.

Brito’s family is suing the O’Learys for wrongful death. The statement of claim in that case alleges the couple “behaved with arrogance, high-handedness and have shown a callous disregard and complete lack of care” for the rights of Susanne Brito.

Linda O'Leary is charged with careless operation of a vessel under the Canada Shipping Act. If found guilty she could face a $10,000 fine. Richard Ruh was driving the other boat and is charged with failing to exhibit a navigation light while underway.

The search warrant indicates there were 12 people on board the second boat. It was owned by Irv Edwards, who had "turned over control of the vessel to Richard Ruh a short distance from shore."

The documents state that a video from the Edwards property captures the boat shutting off its navigational lights after it pulled away from shore.

According to warrant documents "prior to 11:30 p.m., the navigational lights were turned off and the engine was stopped for the purpose of stargazing."

Investigators wrote that they "are confident that the video provides evidence that the victim vessel had no lights on at the time of the collision." 

CBC reported that O'Leary had also been at a dinner party and was driving her boat "at a substantial rate of speed" with her husband and a female passenger, according to the documents.

"Linda O'Leary failed to see the other vessel in time enough to avoid a collision," the documents say. 

Documents indicated there was a short exchange between the parties following impact but due to serious injuries on the struck boat the vessel headed back to shore. The O’Learys headed to their cottage. Upon their return to the property the couples son called 911.

The documents also say "there is a number of camera locations on the O'Leary property" and that a digital video recorder was given to police by the couple, who claimed it contained evidence of the crash. 

The O'Leary case will be back in court on Jan. 16.

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