BRAMPTON, Ont. – More than 100 friends, family and members of the public lined up Sunday morning to attend a public visitation for three children and their grandfather killed in an alleged drunk driving collision north of Toronto.
Nine-year-old Daniel, Harrison, 5, and two-year-old Milly Neville-Lake died along with Gary Neville, 65, in the collision that involved three vehicles a week ago in Vaughan, Ont.
Inside the Brampton, Ont., funeral home, mourners paid respects at the four open caskets. The children’s parents, Jennifer Neville-Lake and Edward Lake, stood nearby.
Flowers lined the walls, and tables displayed some of the children’s favourite things.
At one, a storm trooper mask sat with a Toronto Blue Jays jersey and the board game Settlers of Catan. Another held Barbie dolls, a stuffed My Little Pony and certificates from the War Amps Foundation, and a guitar rested at the base of Neville’s casket.
Rosalyn Francois was one of Daniel’s teachers, and she says the visitation has left her shaken.
“You look around, you see so much sadness, so much pain. I’m trying to fake a smile because I know they’re up there looking down.”
Roz Shulver, a friend of the family, remembered the kids’ “big, beaming faces.”
“The boys were very active, and they liked to run around outside,” she said. “It’s very surreal.”
Sandria McLaughlin didn’t know the family, but came to show her respects.
“I decided to come because I have my own children and I thought if this happened to me I’d want people to support me,” she said tearfully.
Doris Comeau knows the children’s grandmother, who she said remains in hospital after being seriously injured in the collision.
Comeau said she came because years ago, she lost her brother in a drunk driving accident.
Earlier this week, the children’s mother signed an online petition calling for tougher penalties for drunk drivers.
In a Facebook post, she said “Daddy, Harrybug, Milly-boo and DW” were the reasons she signed.
As of Sunday afternoon, the petition had more than 30,000 signatures.
Marco Muzzo, 29, has been charged with a dozen counts of impaired driving and six more charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle related to the incident.
Muzzo remains in police custody pending a bail hearing later this month.
His lawyer has said it’s premature to indicate how Muzzo will plead.