The mother of three young children who were killed in an alleged drunk driving crash in Vaughan on Sunday says her “whole world has been destroyed.”
“We just took pictures last Sunday to celebrate our beautiful little family and how blessed we were, and a week later it’s taken…” said Jennifer Neville-Lake, whose children, Daniel, 9, Harrison, 5, and Milly, 2, died in the crash. The children’s grandfather, 65, was also killed.
“Our babies were beautiful,” the grieving mother said. “They had so much love and so much happiness and so much joy.”
Marco Muzzo, 29, is facing over a dozen charges, including impaired driving causing death, related to the deadly crash at Kipling Avenue and Kirby Road.
Police said at around 4:10 p.m., Muzzo’s black Range Rover T-boned the minivan carrying the children, their grandfather, and two other adult women.
The women were taken to hospital with serious injuries. Their conditions had improved to stable by Sunday evening.
Two of the children were students at St. Joachim Elementary School in Brampton, a spokesman for the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board said.
Daniel was in Grade 4 while his brother Harrison was in senior kindergarten, Bruce Campbell said.
Meanwhile, people looking to help the family can donate to a GoFundMe campaign set up in their name. By early Tuesday morning, more than $100,000 had been raised.
A third vehicle involved in the crash, a Mercedes, had two people in it but they weren’t injured.
Police said Muzzo, from King Township, was the sole occupant in the vehicle he was driving. He appeared in a Newmarket court on Monday and will remain in custody until a bail hearing on Friday.
He’s facing four counts of impaired driving causing death, as well as four counts of having a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams causing death and four counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death. He is charged with two counts each of impaired driving causing bodily harm, having a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams causing bodily harm, and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.
Muzzo is a principal at Marel Contractors, a family business started by his grandfather. A spokesman for the company told CityNews that on Monday that “due to the tragedy, the family is not making any comment.”
Another contractor in the same neighbourhood told CityNews that “the Muzzos are to construction what Saputo is to cheese.”
A family friend told CityNews that Muzzo loved racing cars and that numerous people complained about his reckless driving.
He is engaged to be married.
“I’m sure you can appreciate that this is a very tough time for him,” Muzzo’s lawyer, Rudi Covre, said on Monday.
“It’s a difficult period in his life right now. We’re going to have to get through it.”
Reconstruction crews were working all day to figure out what happened. The major collision unit was called in. Kipling Avenue and Kirby Road was closed for the investigation but has since reopened.
“A tragic, tragic day on the roads here in York Region,” York Regional Police Const. Andy Pattenden said on Sunday. “It’s challenging for anyone involved, this is a first responders worst type of call to receive.”
With files from The Canadian Press