Mom shares heartbreaking photo at the sentencing of the man who killed her three children
A drunk driver who killed three children and their grandfather in a horrific crash was sentenced to 10 years in prison this week. The mother who lost all her children and her father sat sobbing in the courtroom as the 29-year-old was sentenced.
Jennifer Neville-Lake lost all of her children. They were taken from her. Because Marco Muzzo made a decision to drink to much and get behind a wheel. Imagine that: losing the most precious beings in your life because someone simply couldn’t be bothered to call a cab. Or sleep it off. How do you reconcile that? How do you go on?
“Nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his five-year-old brother Harrison, their two-year-old sister Milly and the children’s 65-year-old grandfather, Gary Neville, died last September after the van they were in was hit by a speeding Muzzo, who was driving an SUV,” reports The Hamilton Spectator. He had returned from a bachelor party on a private plane and picked up his car at the airport, prior to the crash. A statement in court said he was so drunk at the time of the crash that he urinated on himself and needed help standing.
I don’t know how any parent — or anyone, really — can cope with losing someone they love to such an infuriatingly reckless act. Why? Why? Why does something like this ever have to happen? The statistics are staggering – but let’s put some humanity behind them for a moment. Here is a photo of two of Neville-Lakes children, holding hands in the hospital before they died:
I show it here because Neville-Lake said in a press conference after the sentencing, “… use them if you want to. People need to see.” She heartbreakingly added, “My children never took a bad picture. Even when they were dying.”
“I would not wish this horror I am living on anyone but you,” Neville-Lake said during a court appearance last month, to the drunk driver who killed her children. “You deserve to know exactly what it feels like to have every single child you created meet someone like you.” And at his sentencing, she added:
“I don’t have anyone left to call me mom …. You killed all my babies.”
In 2013, drunk driving took the lives of 200 children. We’ve seen the statistics. We know it’s horrible. But imagine you are Neville-Lake – and that is the one of the last images you have of your precious children, holding hands in the hospital before they died. These are not merely statistics — they are lives extinguished.
I’m in an office weeping. I’ve had to steel myself several times to even write these sentences. Taking that photo into photoshop and sizing it for publication was almost unbearable. And I’m merely a spectator — someone standing outside of Jennifer Neville-Lake’s nightmare. I’m broken by one glimpse of an image. Now imagine living with that memory of your children? Imagine having one of the precious people in your life ripped from you in such a way?
Muzzo apologized to the family last month, saying he was “tortured by the grief and the pain” that he had caused. “I will forever be haunted by the reality of what I have done. I am truly sorry,” he said.
There is nothing that could repent for this. Nothing.
Wishing Neville-Lake all the peace that she can possibly find after all that she has been through.
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