'Worst nightmare': Parents speak out after 3 children, grandfather killed in Vaughan crash
Published Monday, September 28, 2015 7:37AM EDT Last Updated Monday, September 28, 2015 7:50PM EDT
The parents of three children who were killed after a multi-vehicle accident in Vaughan spoke out on Monday, saying they are in a state of disbelief.
“It’s very hard,” said Jennifer Neville-Lake, the children’s mother. “It just doesn’t seem quite real yet. I can’t believe they’re never coming back.”
Neville-Lake said she found out about the accident after seeing news coverage of the incident on television.
“It’s the worst nightmare -- as a daughter (and) as a parent -- to have to go through,” she said.
A 29-year-old man has been charged following the accident that claimed the lives of Daniel, Harrison (Harry) and Milagros (Millie) Neville-Lake. The children were aged nine, five and two.
Two of the children who were on life-support following the crash died Monday morning. Another child and the children's 65-year-old grandfather were also killed, succumbing to their injuries soon after the crash on Sunday afternoon.
Court documents identified the 65-year-old grandfather as Gary Neville, a former accountant who Neville-Lake said was always a “great support” for the young family.
Daniel and Harrison were students at Brampton’s St. Joachim Separate School, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board confirmed Monday.
Edward Lake, the children’s father, said the kids were always happy, active and excellent at several activities.
“All the happy thoughts (we have) are of them doing things in the backyard, going for strolls through the park, having lots of activities at school … We had all sorts of things going on for the kids and they loved it,” he said.
Lake added their extended family and friends were helping them get through the situation.
“You just have to cope with it somehow and I’m coping with it by just trying to relax,” he said. “It’s hard to watch two families be destroyed.”
The family members were injured when a van and two SUVs collided at the intersection of Kirby Road and Kipling Avenue, shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday.
All six occupants of the van were injured, police said. A 65-year-old man was found unconscious and not breathing, and succumbed to his injuries at the scene. Two women were taken out of the vehicle and rushed to hospital. They were treated for serious injuries and are expected to survive.
The children were treated in hospital for life-threatening injuries. One of them, 9-year-old Daniel, succumbed to his injuries on Sunday evening. The other two children were on life-support, but died early Monday morning, police sources told CTV Toronto's Tamara Cherry.
Two people were in the white SUV, and were uninjured.
Police said 29-year-old Marco Michael Muzzo, from King Township, was the sole occupant of the black SUV. He suffered minor injuries, and was arrested at the scene on suspicion of impaired driving. He appeared in a Newmarket court Monday morning, and was charged with 18 offences.
Muzzo has been charged with:
- Four counts of impaired driving causing death
- Four counts of over 80 causing death
- Four counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death
- Two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm
- Two counts of over 80 causing bodily harm
- Two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.
Muzzo did not speak in court, except to say his name and a few quiet words to his lawyer.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made, the parents said.
A webpage has been set up to raise money for the family on GoFundMe.com. As of Monday evening, donors had pledged more than $65,000.
Neville-Lake also took to social media to express her gratitude over the outpouring of support.
“Your kind words and messages mean so much to my husband and I as we sit in our son’s empty room surrounded by our children’s things,” she wrote in Facebook post. “Please keep us in your prayers.”