Shark Tank Star’s Wife Charged in Deadly Boat Crash
According to an article on People.com, Linda O’Leary – the wife of Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary – has been charged with “careless operation of a vessel” in relation to a fatal boat crash on Lake Joseph in Canada on August 24, 2019. According to a statement by the Ontario Provincial Police, Richard Ruh, who was operating the boat at the time of the crash, was charged with “failing to exhibit navigation light while underway.” Two people were killed and three others were injured in the boating accident where the O’Leary’s boat crashed into a larger vessel, going over its bow and hitting a passenger. Linda O’Leary reportedly passed a DUI test given to her by authorities on the night of the crash. She is scheduled to appear in Ontario court on October 29, 2019.
Boating accident claim
This is a tragic situation that might have been prevented with the proper use of navigation lights to guide the operator’s way. Apart from criminal charges, a boating accident claim or wrongful death claim may be a reasonable way to seek justice in a case like this. A boating accident claim would seek to recover financial compensation for damages including pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more.
2018 U.S. boating accident statistics
Data gathered by the U.S. Coast Guard on 2018 boating accidents found that there were 4,145 recreational boating accidents that caused 633 deaths, 2,511 injuries and approximately $46 million dollars of damage to property. While the fatality rate dropped from 5.5 deaths per registered recreational vessels in 2017 to 5.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2018, those who lost loved ones in these preventable tragedies are still suffering.
How to prevent a recreational boating accident
The statistics show that 77 percent of boating accident victims drowned and that alcohol use was the primary factor contributing to recreational boating accidents. Boats with operators who had no boating safety instruction also made up a disproportionate amount of boating accidents. Other leading factors were operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, machinery failure, and excessive speed.
This data shows the need to assign a boat-safety trained operator who has committed to remain sober, maintain a reasonable speed and avoid distracted boating.
Washington State laws against boating under the influence
Washington State boaters may be penalized if they are caught operating a boat under the influence (BUI). The legal limit for operating a boat under the influence of alcohol is 0.08 and the legal limit for operating a boat under the influence of marijuana is 5.0 nanograms. The law is applicable to boat operators of all types including non-motorized boats such as canoes and kayaks.
Officers with probable cause may ask a boat operator to take a breathalyzer test. If the boater refuses he or she may be fined and issued a Class 1 civil infraction. Boaters who take the test and are found to be over the legal limit may be charged with a gross misdemeanor punishable up to a $5,000 fine and a year in jail.
Seek the help of a boating injury lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident because of the negligence of another, contact a boat injury attorney to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!