Dragons’ Den star and former Conservative leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary has confirmed he was involved in a fatal boat crash in the Muskoka area on Saturday.
According to the Ontario Provincial Police, the crash happened round 11:30 p.m. after two pleasure boats collided about 150 metres from the shore of Emerald Island on Lake Joseph, about 30 kilometres south of Parry Sound.
A 64-year-old Florida man was killed in the crash, a 48-year-old woman from Markham was critically injured, and a total of five were sent to hospital, the OPP said.
In a statement to the Star on Wednesday, O’Leary said he was a passenger on one of the two boats and said he is “fully cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation.”
According to the OPP, the man and woman were passengers in a larger boat that had been out for an twilight cruise. The other boat involved in the crash was smaller, on its way back to shore after an evening out.
“Two people from one of the vessels received medical attention and were released, said OPP Det. Insp. Martin Graham. “From the other vessel we have one person unfortunately who’s died and a female in critical (condition) and a third who received medical treatment was released.”
Provincial Const. Joe Scali of the West Parry Sound OPP said police are continuing to investigate the collision and have not yet said what led to the incident.
In his statement, O’Leary claimed the other boat had no navigation lights and fled the scene after the crash.
“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,” he said.
He added, “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.”
Graham declined to release any of the names of any of the people involved, “unless charges are laid. Obviously if charges are laid at the end of the investigation then those details would be released.”
The investigation is being conducted by OPP North East Region Crime Unit, North East Regional Support Team, OPP Forensic Identification Services and the OPP Technical Marine Collision Unit under the direction of OPP Det. Insp. Graham.
Anyone with information on the incident who may have been on the water near Emerald Island at the time of the crash is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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