Skip to main content

Celebrity businessman Kevin O’Leary was involved in a boat crash last weekend that killed two people in Ontario cottage country.

Mr. O’Leary, a reality television star who ran for the Conservative Party of Canada leadership in 2017, said in a statement that he was involved in a “tragic collision,” but offered few details on the crash. He said the other boat did not have lights on and fled the scene.

Ontario Provincial Police later said both boats left the scene and both boat operators called for ambulances.

The OPP are investigating the collision, which happened Saturday on Lake Joseph near Emerald Island in Seguin Township, Ont., around 11:30 p.m., police said.

Gary Poltash, a 64-year-old Florida man, was killed at the scene. Susanne Brito, a 48-year-old woman from Uxbridge, Ont., died from her injuries in hospital on Tuesday, police said. Three others were taken to the hospital and treated for injuries, and have been released.

“No charges have been laid in this case at this time. As such we are unable to comment on, or identify either of the vessels’ operators and/or owners,” said West Parry Sound OPP Constable Joe Scali in an e-mail.

Celebrity website TMZ was the first to report on the crash Tuesday.

“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 co-operating with law enforcement in their investigation,” Mr. O’Leary said in a statement.

“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.”

Mr. O’Leary did not respond to requests for comment.

The former star of CBC’s Dragon’s Den, who now appears on ABC’s entrepreneurial television show Shark Tank, owns a cottage in Muskoka and has posted photos of his boat on social media from Lake Joseph.

He was considered a front-runner for the Conservative leadership in 2017 before abruptly dropping out of the race in April to back candidate Maxime Bernier. Mr. Bernier lost the leadership by a slim margin to current federal Leader Andrew Scheer.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe