Kevin O’Leary’s wife charged in boat crash that left two dead, three injured

SEGUIN TOWNSHIP, Ont. — The wife of celebrity businessman Kevin O’Leary and an American man have been charged in connection with a boat crash that left two people dead and three others injured.

Ontario Provincial Police said Tuesday that Linda O’Leary, 56, of Toronto, was charged with careless operation of a vessel, contrary to the Canada Shipping Act.

The crash happened around 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 24, near Emerald Island on Lake Joseph, north of Toronto, and involved two boats.

A 64-year-old man from Florida died at the scene, while a 48-year-old woman from Uxbridge, Ont., died in hospital a few days later.

OPP spokeswoman Carolle Dionne said the operator of the other boat, Richard Ruh, 57 of Orchard Park, N.Y., was also charged with failing to exhibit a navigation light while underway.

Linda O’Leary’s lawyer, Brian Greenspan, said what happened was “a terrible tragedy.”

“…but we find it regrettable that the OPP has chosen to charged Mrs. O’Leary under the shipping regulations in circumstances where the person has always been a cautious, and certainly experienced boater, came in a collision with an unlit craft on a dark and moonless night on Lake Joseph,” he said.

O’Leary, the former star of the popular CBC show ”Dragons’ Den,” said after the crash that he wasn’t driving the boat at the time, and that the other boat did not have lights on and had fled the scene.

Ruh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If convicted, careless operation of a vessel carries a sentence of up to 18 months imprisonment and up to a $1 million fine, Dionne said, while failing to exhibit navigation lights is a set fine, akin to a traffic ticket.

Linda O’Leary is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 29.

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