Family, friends mourn 2 who lost lives in Ontario boating accident involving Kevin O’Leary

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Investigation into Muskoka boat crash continues
WATCH: More details have been revealed about the two people killed in the crash that involved businessman Kevin O’Leary – Aug 29, 2019

Family and friends are mourning the losses of a 64-year-old Florida man and a 48-year-old Uxbridge woman who passed away following a boating accident on Lake Joseph in Ontario on Saturday night that involved Kevin O’Leary.

Earlier this week, Canadian businessman and TV star Kevin O’Leary said in a statement that he was also involved in a fatal crash on Lake Joseph on Saturday night.

Larry Poltash, brother of Gary Poltash, the 64-year-old victim, told Global News that he’s glad his brother didn’t suffer and that he “lived a good life.”

READ MORE: Kevin O’Leary on boat involved in fatal crash on Lake Joseph in Ontario

He said Gary was an “all-American boy” and a “self-made man” who graduated from the University of Southern California and became a certified public accountant.

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After 15 years, his brother moved on and started a business to help people get property tax relief for when they were overcharged by the state of California, Larry said.

The woman who passed away in the crash was identified by OPP as Susanne Brito, a wife and mother of three, who was also called Suzana.

READ MORE: Kevin O’Leary is worth millions; here’s why he can’t pay off his $500K election debt

Over the past couple of days, words have circulated on social media regarding her loss.

“Suzana Brito was a beautiful and loving wife and mother and someone I was honoured to call a friend,” one friend said in a tweet. “I will miss her smile, her positive attitude and her love of laughing.”

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In a statement, O’Leary said he was a passenger in one of the boats involved in the collision and that the other boat fled the scene.

“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,” O’Leary said. “I am fully cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation.”

On Wednesday, West Parry Sound OPP’s media officer, Joe Scali, told Global News that both watercraft left the scene and contacted emergency services.

“Both vessels had left the scene and when they reached the location, both vessels were in touch with ambulance for emergency services,” he said

WATCH: OPP provide details of crash involving Kevin O’Leary’s boat, won’t confirm businessman’s identity

Click to play video: 'OPP provide details of crash involving Kevin O’Leary’s boat, won’t confirm businessman’s identity'
OPP provide details of crash involving Kevin O’Leary’s boat, won’t confirm businessman’s identity

Larry said a doctor owned the boat his brother was a passenger on.

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“Doctors are calm under pressure,” he said. “My guess is as soon as the crash happened, he headed somewhere to get them medical attention.”

Uxbridge Mayor Dave Barton said in a statement that Brito was a “vibrant member” of the township’s community.

“Suzana’s energy and enthusiasm will be missed by all who knew her,” Barton said in the statement. “We are mourning her loss along with her family and friends.”

The Northern Portugal Cultural Centre also posted on Facebook on Thursday to wish the Brito family condolences.

“The Northern Portugal Cultural Centre would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family of Susana [sic] Brito, especially to her father José Manuel Brito — friend and past president of the NPCC,” the post said.


On Friday, the Brito-Owen family released a statement through the Uxbridge mayor’s office thanking people for their support.

“Our family wishes to express our gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received from police, first responders, the medical community, our friends and the entire Uxbridge community following the death of our wife, mother, daughter and sister, Suzana Brito,” the statement read.

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“We ask that you respect our silence and understand that we will not be responding to requests for comment in the coming days as our family copes with her loss and focuses on helping our three children, ages 12, 11 and 9.”

The funeral service and burial for Brito will take place at the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church and the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Uxbridge on Saturday.

READ MORE: Kevin O’Leary won’t seek Ontario PC leadership, but will be ‘agitator’ in race

O’Leary said in a statement that he will not be commenting further at this time.

“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,” the Shark Tank star said in the statement.

“My heartfelt prayers and condolences to the victims, the families and those affected by this loss.”

OPP’s investigation remains ongoing.

WATCH: Kevin O’Leary boating accident — What we know so far

Click to play video: 'Kevin O’Leary boating accident: What we know so far'
Kevin O’Leary boating accident: What we know so far

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