- Category: Canada News
- Published Wednesday, February 24, 2016
- CTV News
The man who pleaded guilty to impaired driving told the court he has "great remorse" and "unimaginable regret" for his role in a crash that claimed the lives of three children and their grandfather.
Marco Muzzo, 29, took the stand on Wednesday, the second day of a sentence hearing in Newmarket, Ont.
Muzzo has not previously spoken publicly about the crash.
He pleaded guilty earlier this month to four counts of impaired driving caused death and two of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
Crown attorney Paul Tait asked the judge for a sentence of 10 to 12 years in prison, and a driving ban of eight to 12 years at the end of the prison sentence.
"An entire generation, the next generation of the Neville-Lake family, was wiped out in one fell swoop," Tait said.
"Every drunk driver has a choice, and in this case, that choice had catastrophic consequences."
Tait said he hopes that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to others who consider drinking and driving, pointing to the frequency of impaired driving incidents in the area where the fatal crash occurred.
Three vehicles, including Muzzo's, collided near an intersection in Vaughan, Ont. on Sept. 27.
Nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his five-year-old brother Harrison, their two-year-old sister Milly, and the children's 65-year-old grandfather, Gary Neville, died after the van they were in was hit by an SUV north of Toronto.
The children's grandmother and great-grandmother were also seriously injured in the crash.
Earlier in the day, the court heard details of Muzzo's psychiatric report, written by Dr. Graham Glancy.
Glancy wrote that Muzzo shows signs of "considerable remorse," post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. The report said he was "distressed and tearful" when discussing the crash with the psychiatrist.
Muzzo told Glancy he was surprised by the results of a breathalyzer test taken after the crash, which showed his blood-alcohol level was between two and three times the legal limit. The report said Muzzo told Glancy he'd had some drinks before taking the wheel, but that he didn't feel like he was drunk when he began to drive.
According to the report, Muzzo said he wanted to apologize to the children's parents, and educate others on the dangers of drinking and driving.
Muzzo heard from the parents of the Neville-Lake children in court Tuesday, when they read their victim impact statements while looking directly at him.
In her victim impact statement, the children’s mother, Jennifer Neville-Lake, expressed anguish and anger, saying Muzzo’s actions shattered her world.
“I don’t have anyone left to call me mom …. You killed all my babies,” Neville-Lake said.