Jennifer Neville-Lake described Tuesday as the “anniversary of my life sentence” after a drunk driver killed her three young children and her father one year ago, and police say incidents of impaired driving are not going down.
“I can’t make new memories with my kids anymore. Every day I could I would log on to see all the beautiful moments that my family and I created,” Neville-Lake wrote Monday evening while thanking people for their “love, prayers, strength and support.”
“I won’t be doing that much anymore because today is the last day of BEFORE and tomorrow is the anniversary of my life sentence.”
Nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, five-year-old brother Harrison, two-year-old sister Milly and their 65-year-old grandfather Gary Neville were killed after Marco Muzzo‘s SUV slammed into the family’s van in Vaughan, Ont.
He is currently serving a 10-year sentence in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
Weeks later, Neville-Lake, her husband Edward Lake, and other relatives filed a lawsuit seeking more than $25 million from Muzzo and his family’s drywall company. A statement of defence has not yet been filed.
Since the collision in September 2015, York Regional Police said they have laid more than 1,100 impaired-related driving charges, a number that has been steadily increasing over the previous three years.
“We saw one of the worst tragedies in Canada on our roadways here in York region. It was so high profile,” York Regional Police Const. Andy Pattenden told Global News.
“I mean if hearing Jennifer Neville-Lake coming out at the end of every one of those court appearances, pouring her heart out about the pain that she is going through – and continues to go through – doesn’t change peoples’ minds of making that choice to drink and drive, then we don’t know what will.”
Pattenden said police are “beyond frustrated” that impaired driving is continuing.
“As a media relations officer, it feels like, for me, a cut and paste job. Every weekend after that weekend, once again 16 more impaired drivers taken off our roads, 15 more drivers taken off our roads – it’s not changing.”
Meanwhile, Neville-Lake pleaded with readers to “choose life” and to stop drinking and driving.
“To be honest, I can’t stop anyone from driving impaired. Our story is one fading afternoon and is darkening with time. I can share with you how hollow and desolate my life is because someone chose to drink and drive on a Sunday afternoon,” Neville-Lake said.
“I can probably make you cry imagining what it is like to be me existing in an empty and dead house. But I can’t stop you from drinking and driving. My shattered heart cant. My dead dad can’t. My dead children can’t.”
With files from The Canadian Press