The family of a Florida man killed in a boat collision involving TV personality Kevin O’Leary late last month has started an online fundraising campaign to help the children of the second victim of the crash.
Gary Poltash, 64, was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision on Lake Joseph, a popular cottage area north of Toronto, on Saturday, Aug. 24. A second victim, Suzana Brito, a 48-year-old mother of three from Uxbridge, Ont., died in hospital the following Tuesday.
Ontario Provincial Police are still investigating the deadly collision and have not filed charges. Officials say the crash occured around 11:30 p.m. when two boats, a smaller ski boat and a larger wakeboard pleasure craft, collided on the lake, near Emerald Island.
Days later, O’Leary said in a statement that he was a passenger on one of the boats involved in the collision.
Now, the affected families are trying to recover.
Gary Poltash’s son, Alex, has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $15,000 for an education fund for Brito’s children.
Tragedy still fresh for families
Brito left behind her husband David, as well as two sons and a daughter — aged 12, 11 and nine. She is also survived by her parents, a brother and a sister.
“While the tragedy is still fresh in our minds, we have been thinking of a way to honour and respect the values that were near and dear to our father’s heart. Although we never got to meet her, we are told that Suzana and my father became fast friends while enjoying the beauty of lake,” Alex Poltash wrote on the fundraising page.
“Gary was a true believer in the power of education, and thus we thought it appropriate to create this for the benefit of Suzana’s children.”
As of Thursday morning, nearly $4,300 has been raised.