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

  • Biden to impose South Africa travel ban to combat new COVID-19 variant: sources

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Joe Biden will impose a ban on most non-U.S. citizens entering the country who have recently been in South Africa starting Saturday in a bid to contain the spread of a new variant of COVID-19, U.S. Source
  • Father's hope of life-altering treatment for son dashed in anticipation of travel ban

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- An Ottawa-area father’s hope of seeking a life-altering treatment for his son in the U.S. has been dashed in light of the news that the government is considering new measures that would ‘significantly impede’ Canadians' ability to return to the country due to COVID-19. Source
  • The U.S. just marked 25 million Covid-19 cases. Now it's a race between vaccines and variants

    World News CTV News
    It took just over a year for the US to go from one to 25 million coronavirus infections. That's an average of about 67,934 new infections every day. Or a new infection every 1.2 seconds since January 21, 2020. Source
  • Church near Waterloo, Ont., opens for Sunday service in defiance of court order

    Canada News CBC News
    A church north of Waterloo, Ont., opened for Sunday service in defiance of a Superior Court of Justice order. The order, obtained by the Attorney General, tells Trinity Bible Chapel to follow the requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act. Source
  • Israel to close airport to bring outbreak under control

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel will be closing its international airport to nearly flights as the government races to bring a raging coronavirus outbreak under control. The entry of highly contagious variants of the coronavirus, coupled with poor enforcement of safety rules in ultra-Orthodox communities, has contributed to one of the world's highest rates of infections. Source
  • Too many new pet owners, not enough vets make getting animal care a problem

    Canada News CBC News
    Dr. Liz Ruelle says it was a difficult decision to close her veterinary practice to first-time patients after being swamped with requests by new pet owners who turned to animal companionship during the pandemic. For Ruelle, who operates the Wild Rose Cat Clinic in Calgary, everything takes two to three times longer with COVID-19 safety protocols, so providing timely medical attention to animals can be challenging. Source
  • Dutch police clash with anti-lockdown protesters in 2 cities

    World News CTV News
    URK, NETHERLANDS -- Rioters set fires in the centre of the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven and pelted police with rocks Sunday at a banned demonstration against coronavirus lockdown measures, while officers responded with tear gas and water cannons, arresting at least 30 people. Source
  • 'Deeply disturbing:' Nunavut internet still slower, more costly than rest of country

    Canada News CTV News
    IQALUIT, NUNAVUT -- In Nunavut, it's not unusual for the internet to cut out, slow down or stop working altogether. Unlike most jurisdictions in Canada, there is no option for unlimited internet. Instead, residents are faced with high prices and heavy fees for higher monthly data caps. Source
  • 'Group of idiots': Sask. premier defends Dr. Shahab after harassment at family home

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- Saskatchewan’s premier had strong language for what he called “a group of idiots” who allegedly harassed the province’s chief medical health officer, and his family, at their home on Saturday. “This harassment of Dr. Source
  • Trapped for 2 weeks, 11 workers rescued from gold mine in China

    World News CBC News
    Eleven workers trapped for two weeks by an explosion inside a Chinese gold mine were brought safely to the surface on Sunday. State broadcaster CCTV showed workers being hauled up in baskets on Sunday afternoon, their eyes shielded to protect them after so many days in darkness. Source