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

  • Three-year-old girl's sundress deemed inappropriate for pre-school

    Canada News CTV News
    A three-year-old girl won’t be allowed to wear a sundress she loves to pre-school anymore after staff deemed the straps on the outfit inappropriate, a Winnipeg family says. Sadie Stonehouse said the pre-school has put her in the uncomfortable position of having to explain to her daughter, Lola, why the sundress isn’t allowed – a conversation she fears will make her three-year-old question her body. Source
  • Trump had to 'face the music' that U.S., North Korea worlds apart on nuclear deal

    World News CBC News
    Donald Trump's decision to scrap a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was inevitable, some experts say, but there is still hope the meeting can happen. Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Center for East Asia Policy Studies, doesn't think the sudden scuttling of the summit was a strategic move by the president. Source
  • Toronto opens 800 beds for asylum seekers, asks for millions in provincial, federal help

    Canada News CTV News
    After announcing the opening of 800 additional beds for refugee claimants, the City of Toronto is demanding that the federal and provincial governments help cover more than $64 million it will have spent dealing with Canada’s influx of asylum seekers by the end of 2018. Source
  • VIA Rail apologizes to passengers as train delay reaches 45 hours

    Canada News CBC News
    VIA Rail is apologizing to its passengers, who are currently on a cross-country trip 45 hours behind schedule, saying the delays are "beyond our control." "We understand the impact this major delay has on our customers and we apologize for the inconvenience they cause," said spokesperson Mylène Bélanger, in an emailed statement. Source
  • Toddler left in car died from prolonged heat exposure: police

    Canada News CTV News
    A toddler found in a hot vehicle in the Greater Toronto Area died after being exposed to sweltering temperatures for a prolonged time, police have confirmed. No charges have been laid in the death of the child, described by Halton Regional Police as a three-year-old boy. Source
  • Police confirm Burlington, Ont., toddler died after being left in vehicle on hot day

    Canada News CBC News
    An autopsy has concluded a toddler left in a car parked outside a Burlington, Ont., television station Wednesday died after being exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time, according to Halton Regional Police. Source
  • Police confirm toddler died from being left in hot vehicle parked in Burlington, Ont.

    Canada News CBC News
    An autopsy has concluded a toddler left in a car parked outside a Burlington, Ont., television station Wednesday died after being exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time, according to Halton Regional Police. Source
  • China scolds U.S. for pulling invitation to major naval drill

    World News CBC News
    China's Defence Ministry expressed regret on Thursday after the United States withdrew an invitation to China to attend a major U.S.-hosted naval drill, saying that closing the door does not promote mutual trust and co-operation. The Rim of the Pacific exercise, known as RIMPAC and previously attended by China, is billed as the world's largest international maritime exercise and held every two years in Hawaii in June and July. Source
  • Signed 'Humboldt Jersey' makes stop in Regina for Memorial Cup

    Canada News CBC News
    Amanda Mumm says the Humboldt Jersey showed her just how far-reaching the effects of April's tragic bus crash have been. "So many hockey players have been touched. So many families have been touched. It's unbelievable. It really is," said the Regina woman. Source
  • Legal fumble could derail trial of online gambling mogul David Baazov

    Canada News CBC News
    Quebec's securities regulator, the Autorité des marchés financiers? (AMF), appears to have shared too much information in its court fight against former online gambling mogul David Baazov, and now that legal fumble could scuttle the whole trial. Baazov is the former CEO of Montreal-based Amaya. Source