“My children never took a bad photo, even as they were dying”

 

(Courtesy Kay Prince Photography)

(Courtesy Kay Prince Photography)

By Alexia Kapralos and Kelsey Rambaran

Jennifer Neville-Lake has become a familiar face outside court since the death of her father and three children in a drunk-driving incident last year, but last Tuesday’s appearance was different — she had gleaned the fate of the man who killed them.

She choked up in the face of scores of  cameras and microphones, but held herself together to finish her speech.

“You’re killing someone else’s babies,” she said outside court in Newmarket, addressing drunk drivers.Like mine were killed. Like all of mine were killed on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, just after four o’clock.”

Neville-Lake’s father, Gary Neville, 65, and her children, Daniel Neville-Lake, 9; Harry Neville-Lake, 5; and Milagros (Milly) Neville-Lake, 2, died in a collision last September. The driver, Marco Muzzo, had pleaded guilty to intoxicated driving, and was sentence to 10 years in prison on Tuesday. 

Justice Michelle Fuerst also sentenced Muzzo to a 12-year driving ban upon his release. She said that any letters sent to her about her judging decision for sentencing were ignored and didn’t affect her decision.

“(The Neville-Lake family) will continue to serve a form of life sentence into them from Muzzo’s decision to drink and drive,” said Justice Fuerst, who also read a statement from Neville-Lake to the court“When you killed my children you killed my identity as a mother and without my kids, I’m nothing anymore.”

Neville-Lake said of Muzzo’s actions after sentencing: “This was a choice. This was not pre-ordained. This was a choice made by an individual and choices, or actions, will have consequences,” she said.
She held up a make-shift scrapbook of images to prove her point. The first page said was labelled, “My dad’s choice” and then she showed a picture of her parents on their wedding day.

“He chose to marry my mother,” she said, before flipping to the next page.

Her next page was labelled, “My choice”.

“My choice was Edward. We chose to get married on Oct. 2, 2005,” she said. “If you do the math, by our 10th anniversary, Marco Muzzo had already killed (most of) our family”

The next page said “My actions” and she then showed a picture of her children. The photo shows the three children smiling in front of a car.

She said this was the last picture they took with the car before they traded it in for the van her children were killed in.

The next sheet of paper was labelled  “Drunk Driver, M@**o Mu**o’s actions.”

“I’m sure you can read this, because I really don’t want to say his name. I don’t, ” she said. When she flipped the page, a photo of their totalled van on the side of the road shows the destruction caused in the incident.

“The other part of the choice and the actions — there’s always a consequence,” she said. The next sheet was labelled “My consequences”.

Neville-Lake took a deep breath before she flipped the page for the final time, to which media “aww”. The first picture is of Harry and Milly holding hands in their hospital beds, for the last time, just before their parents had to pull them off life support.

“My children never took a bad photo, even when they were dying.”

Daniel died at the scene of the accident. The photo underneath is of three little urns.

“So, please, when you choose to drink and drive, remember, you’re hurting other families,” she said.

Neville-Lake’s husband, Edward, declined to speak to the media.
Muzzo arrived late, so proceedings were delayed by a half hour. Camera crews eagerly awaited texts from reporters inside and little by little, information trickled out.
The story from Muzzo’s side was barely more than that trickle.  

Muzzo’s lawyer, Brian Greenspan talked only briefly, reiterated the sentence, and refused to say more.

Muzzo and the Muzzo family went out from the back of the courthouse.

 

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