NEWMARKET, Ont. — A woman who lost her three children and father in a horrific drunk driving crash broke into tears Tuesday as she spoke to the man responsible for their deaths before a packed Ontario courtroom.
“I don’t have anyone left to call me mom …. You killed all my babies,” Jennifer Neville-Lake told Marco Muzzo from the witness stand.
“I miss my kids, I miss my dad, I want my old life back.”
Many in the courtroom, including police officers, wiped their eyes as Neville-Lake recalled learning the devastating news and rushing to hospital just in time to see two of her children taken off life support.
Muzzo pleaded guilty earlier this month to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two of impaired driving causing bodily harm and was released on bail until Tuesday.
Since the crash, Neville-Lake said, the home that once echoed with laughter has been left eerily quiet.
“The roaring silence that has been left behind as a result of your actions is so deafening,” she said.
Almost everything in Neville-Lake’s life, from the family home to favourite songs, “elicits pain and overwhelming sadness,” she said.
The woman – described by her relatives as a “supermom” – said she has lost her identity along with her children and now struggles to carry out even the most mundane tasks.
“Your actions have shattered my world completely,” she said.
Her husband, Edward Neville-Lake, said in a statement that he has suffered from suicidal thoughts and intense anxiety since the crash, and the loss has affected their marriage.
“I feel lost in my life…it has been destroyed beyond repair,” he said in a statement read in court.
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 after the van they were in was T-boned by an SUV in Vaughan, Ont., last September.
The children’s grandmother and great-grandmother were also seriously injured in the crash.
Neville-Lake’s mother also told court today that she now has no one to grow old with.
Neriza Neville says it would have been easier to bear if the love of her life had died from illness because she would have had the chance to say goodbye.
Many in the community also wrote statements to express how the tragedy has shaken them.
Muzzo, who is being held in segregation at his request, is expected to speak when the sentencing hearing resumes Wednesday.
He had initially faced a dozen counts of impaired driving and six more charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
The court heard he was so drunk at the time of the Sept. 27 crash that he urinated on himself and needed help standing.