More than two weeks after a boat collision killed two people in the Township of Muskoka Lakes, police decline to disclose any findings of their investigation, such as whether or not drugs or alcohol were involved or who was driving the boats.
Shortly before midnight on Aug. 24, two boats collided on Lake Joseph, reported the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) at the time. The two victims were Gary Poltash, a 64-year-old man from Florida, and Suzana Brito, a 48-year-old woman from Uxbridge, Ont. Three other people were taken to hospital and released, the OPP said.
“The location of the crash — because it’s on the water — the investigation will take a little longer, so we can’t comment any further,” said Const. Joe Scali shortly after the incident.
Kevin O’Leary, a celebrity entrepreneur who starred on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, said he was a passenger on one of the boats. In a statement released four days after the incident, O’Leary said the other boat did not have its navigation lights on and fled the scene.
But the OPP told the Toronto Sun that both boats left the scene and the vessel carrying the injured passengers sought medical help. Police have not commented on the navigation lights.
O’Leary’s agent, Jay Sures, told CNN that the entrepreneur’s wife, Linda, was driving the boat at the time of the crash, but police have not confirmed this.
O’Leary owns a property on the north end of Lake Joseph, which has been a summer getaway for many celebrities including Cindy Crawford, Paul Bronfman and actor Harry Hamlin, according to a 2015 article in Toronto Life.
Questions are also unanswered about what the people involved in the crash were doing earlier that evening. A fundraising event was taking place in the area for CNIB, an organization that advocates for people who are blind. The venue was the CNIB Lake Joseph Centre, but organizers say neither O’Leary nor the victims were on the guest list.
Just because it’s routine doesn’t mean it’s safe
“At this time, we have no reason to believe anyone involved (in the crash) attended the event,” wrote Shannon Simpson, communications director for CNIB, in an email to the National Post.
The son of victim Gary Poltash, Alex Poltash, has started a GoFundMe campaign. In the campaign description, Alex wrote that his father had become friends with the other victim, and the money would go toward education for her three children.
In the week following the crash, Safe Quiet Lakes, an organization aimed at making Muskoka Lakes safer and quieter, reminded nighttime boaters to always keep their navigations lights on, travel more slowly and abstain from alcohol and cannabis.
“We can’t comment on the incident on Lake Joseph because the investigation hasn’t determi