Feb 25, 2016 - THE STAGGERING IMPACT OF DRUNK DRIVING


 “This is really where we go when we die; into the hearts of those who remember us.”


Author Martin Amis penned this line in response to the death of his cousin Lucy Partington, murdered by a serial killer.

And that, we suspect, is where the three Neville-Lake children, Daniel, Harrison, Milly, and their grandfather, Gary Neville, will go to as well – into the hearts of those who loved them.

On Tuesday, grief-stricken family, friends and spectators gathered in a Newmarket courtroom to hear or give victim impact statements in the sentencing of Marco Muzzo, 29, who pleaded guilty this month to four counts of impaired driving causing death, and two of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

The statements from Jennifer, the children’s mother, were beyond heartbreaking, and also tinged with her contempt for Muzzo.

“You killed my babies,” she told him. “What hope is there when our entire world is gone?”

Yes, indeed, sometimes hope doesn’t spring eternal. Not when a drunk driver has destroyed your family.

Muzzo sat in the prisoner’s box, and at times he hung his head, perhaps weighed down by what he had done, and those he had killed.

Newmarket Superior Court Justice Michelle Fuerst will decide his punishment.

Jennifer Neville-Lake felt she had no choice but to give her dead children a voice.

They don’t have one because of a drunk driver, she said. “This is my chance to advocate for them.”

This is also a chance for society.

Other family members spoke about the eerie silence that now haunts the childless Neville-Lake home. Some of them spoke directly to Muzzo.

The Crown read a statement from a Catholic school board trustee. Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey’s statement was also read about how Brampton mourned then rallied around the family. Neville-Lake’s statement was the longest and most emotional.

There are millions of unheralded people in our world like the Neville-Lakes.

They work, pay taxes, look out for the health and welfare of their children, and do so happily. They don’t seek 15 minutes of fame. Or yearn for their very own reality show. They don’t want a spotlight to shine upon them.

But Muzzo’s recklessness forced Jennifer Neville-Lake to the forefront.

Our world shudders when we hear victim impact statements.

We recoil when families like the Neville-Lakes have to step forward.

We can only hope the lessons learned from the Muzzo trial and sentencing will be profound, and bring an end to staggering losses that result from drunk driving.

Source: Brampton Guardian


 

 

Last updated on: 2016-03-11 | Link to this post