Muzzo pleads guilty in fatal crash, granted bail

Jennifer Neville-Lake says she can’t forgive the driver of the vehicle that struck and killed her three children and their grandfather last fall.

See Full Article

Neville-Lake spoke with reporters Thursday outside a Newmarket, Ont. court shortly after Marco Muzzo, who pleaded guilty to six charges related to the crash, was released on $1-million bail.

#breaking Leaving court free man #marcomuzzo after pleading guilty and getting bail @CTVNewspic.twitter.com/duZJIRx8e9

— Peter Akman (@PeterAkmanCTV) February 4, 2016

With her husband by her side, Neville-Lake held up two photos of her eldest son, Daniel, who would have turned 10 on Wednesday.

One picture showed her holding Daniel in the hospital after his birth, and the other was a school photo taken “two days before his life was ended by an impaired driver,” Neville-Lake said.

Muzzo, 29, was facing multiple charges, including impaired driving and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, following the Sept. 27 crash in Vaughan, Ont.

On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his five-year-old brother Harrison, their two-year-old sister Milly and their grandfather, Gary Neville, 65, died after the van they were in was struck by Muzzo’s vehicle. The children’s grandmother and great-grandmother were injured in the crash.

Her voice shaking, Neville-Lake said that instead of throwing Daniel a birthday party on Wednesday, she and her husband “celebrated – if you can call it that – at his grave.”

The grieving mother said she may forgive Muzzo “at some point perhaps, if I live that long.”

She added that there’s isn’t anything Muzzo could say to take the pain away.

“Harrison, Daniel, Milagros, my dad – they can’t be brought back,” Neville-Lake said.

In court on Thursday, an agreed statement of facts shed light on the sequence of events on the day of the crash.

Court heard that prior to the deadly crash, Muzzo had returned from a trip to Miami on a private jet, landing at Pearson Airport shortly after 3 p.m.

Muzzo’s lawyer, Brian Greenspan, said it was his “bachelor party trip… The first time he ever flown on the corporate plane.”

Muzzo got into his Jeep in the airport parking lot and drove off, court heard.

Shortly after, Muzzo drove through a stop sign on Kipling Avenue and struck the minivan carrying the Neville-Lake family. Court heard that he was speeding.

The speed limit on the street where the crash occurred is 80 km/h. The limit on the cross-street, which has no stop sign, is 60 km/h.

According to the agreed statement of fact, the stop sign on Kipling was visible and unobstructed, and there were no weather or traffic conditions that would have prevented a safe stop.

Muzzo approached the intersection at approximately 4:10 p.m., and applied his brakes, but did not come to a stop as he passed the sign. He struck the van in the intersection, then collided with another vehicle as it approached the scene. The driver and passenger in that vehicle were uninjured.

The statement said Muzzo's vehicle registered that the driver had applied the brakes for 3.7 seconds before striking the minivan.

"However, at impact, the Cherokee was still travelling at a speed of 85 km/h," the statement said.

Court also heard that a witness who arrived at the crash scene a short time after the crash said Muzzo had "glossy eyes, like when you are drunk."

An officer who responded to the crash scene observed that Muzzo was "unsteady on his feet," and that Muzzo urinated on himself and was having “a difficult time” understanding direction.

Muzzo was arrested, and provided two breath samples after speaking with his lawyer.

The samples showed he had a blood alcohol level of more than double the legal limit, the statement said.

On Thursday, the Crown agreed to the $1-million bail requested by Greenspan. Shortly after, a judge agreed to release Muzzo on bail, with conditions.

Muzzo is now under “virtual house arrest,” Greenspan said.

“There is no risk of flight, there is no risk that there is going to be any breach of bail, he’s under virtual house arrest, and everyone is confident that he will abide by all terms of his release,” Greenspan told reporters outside the courthouse.

Under his bail conditions, Muzzo must live with his mother and is prohibited from driving, purchasing or consuming alcohol. He must report to York Regional Police weekly, and is under a curfew, with the exception of medical emergencies.

Muzzo, who surrendered his passport to police, is also prohibited from contacting the Neville-Lake family and must remain at least 100 metres away from their places of employment, residences and educational institutions.

Muzzo left the courthouse without speaking to reporters.

Greenspan said it has been a “sad and tragic day for everyone.”

Muzzo’s family owns a drywall company and is worth $1.8 billion, according to Canadian Business Magazine.

Responding to a question outside court on Thursday, Greenspan said any suggestion Muzzo was getting special treatment due to his family’s wealth were “outrageous.”

Muzzo’s sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 23.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Russian doping agency says reforms at risk if new suspension

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- The Russian anti-doping agency claimed Saturday that reforms in Russian sport are at risk if it is suspended again by the World Anti-Doping Agency. WADA reinstated the Russian agency, known as RUSADA, in September on condition that Russian authorities turned over key doping data from the Moscow doping laboratory by Dec. Source
  • Dreadlocked Quebec comic pleads for calm after being told his hair is racist

    Canada News CBC News
    A Montreal comic who was told he could not perform — or even be in the audience — at a comedy show because his hairstyle was considered racist, is pleading for calm from both sides of the debate. Source
  • Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

    World News CTV News
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Seven weeks after a massive earthquake rocked Alaska, aftershocks are still shattering 7-year-old Connor Cartwright's sense of safety. They shake the earth far less than the 7.0 magnitude quake that sent a mirror, TV and dishes crashing to the ground in the Anchorage home where Connor lives with his mother, father and 11-year-old brother. Source
  • Wall of wintry, hazardous weather pushes across the U.S.

    World News CBC News
    People throughout parts of the U.S. Midwest woke Saturday to a heavy and steady snowfall that forced the cancellation of hundreds of airline flights and made driving dangerous. More than 460 flights were cancelled Saturday morning at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and about 50 flights were cancelled at Chicago's Midway International Airport. Source
  • Canadian speaks out about being barred from visiting dissident father in China

    Canada News CTV News
    The Canadian daughter of a Chinese political prisoner is speaking out about “ruthless” communist authorities after being detained twice this week as she tried to visit her ailing father. Ti-Anna Wang was blocked from entering China to visit her dad, who she hasn’t seen for ten years, despite having a valid visa. Source
  • Parents warned about person dressed as clown who allegedly tried to grab girl

    Canada News CTV News
    Parents of students attending an elementary school in Edmonton are being asked to remain vigilant after a person dressed as a clown allegedly grabbed a young girl. Christine Whitebear is one of many parents who received a letter from officials at Tipaskan Elementary School alerting them of the alleged incident. Source
  • Up to 117 migrants missing in capsizing off Libya, survivors say

    World News CBC News
    A rescue official says survivors have told rescuers that up to 117 migrants might have died when a rubber dinghy capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya. Flavio Di Giacomo of International Organization for Migration says three survivors were plucked to safety by an Italian navy helicopter on Friday, and they say 120 were aboard when the dinghy left Libya. Source
  • 'I didn't feel safe': NBA star Enes Kanter skips London game over Turkey assassination fears

    World News CBC News
    A day after Turkish prosecutors issued an international warrant for his arrest, NBA star Enes Kanter skipped a game in London this week — citing fears he could be killed by the Turkish government. Kanter says he's being targeted for his place as an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who he has previously called "the Hitler of our century. Source
  • Thousands of Canadians across the country to march to end violence against women

    Canada News CTV News
    Thousands across Canada are expected to participate in the third annual Women's March today in a bid to call attention to violence against women. Across the country, marches are taking place that will also feature speakers, music and art related to women's issues. Source
  • Americans face deadline to file paperwork for Huawei executive's extradition

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- American authorities are facing a key deadline at the end of the month to formally request the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou from Canada to the United States. Friday, a spokesman for Canada's Justice Department said the U.S. Source