Parents of kids killed in Vaughan crash leave Christmas tree on graves
Marco Muzzo, accused in multi-vehicle crash, back in court Dec. 10
The parents of the three children who died with their grandfather in a car crash in Vaughan, Ont., say they've put up a Christmas tree at the cemetery where the four are buried bearing the message: "All I want for Christmas is … my kids and dad back."
Jennifer Neville-Lake and Ed Lake attended a Thursday court appearance for Marco Muzzo, who was charged with four counts of impaired driving causing death and 14 other charges following the Sept. 27 crash.
Neville-Lake said she set up a small Christmas tree this week to honour her three children and father.
"Why can't they have Christmas?"
While families typically put up a tree in their living rooms at this time of year, Neville-Lake set one up on the graves of Daniel Neville-Lake, 9, his brother Harrison, 5, their sister Milly, 2, and their 65-year-old grandfather, Gary Neville.
"We put up a Christmas tree there because we can't bear to have one at home right now," she said.
Each is honoured with an ornament — a Stormtrooper for Daniel, Rapunzel for Harry, Anna from Frozen for Milly and Superman for their grandfather.
Parents Jennifer and Ed put up tree for their kids <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCToronto">@CBCToronto</a> <a href="https://t.co/IyoIi9bgue">pic.twitter.com/IyoIi9bgue</a>—@ShannonMartinTV
"Last year, Daniel really wanted a Stormtrooper ornament. He really loves Star Wars," Neville-Lake said.
When she recently saw the ornament, Neville-Lake said she was crushed by the sight.
Upon seeing it, she said she thought: "I wish I'd seen this last year. I wish I could've bought it for him."
She walked away, only to circle back to the ornament, thinking: "Well, why can't I? Why can't I still buy him an ornament?"
Tucked in the limbs of the tree is also a Christmas wish: "All I want for Christmas is ... my kids and dad back."
Muzzo back in court Dec. 10
Both sides in the case are still sorting out disclosure issues and counsel's request for two more weeks on preparation time was granted by the judge.
We were handed life sentences.- Jennifer Neville-Lake
Muzzo has yet to enter a plea on the 18 charges he is facing and will remain in custody. He appeared Thursday in court on the television monitor wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and a full beard. Members of the Muzzo family were not in court. Neither was Muzzo's lawyer, Brian Greenspan.
"We were handed life sentences," Neville-Lake said.
The crash happened when a minivan with six members of the Neville-Lake family was T-boned at the intersection of Kirby Road and Kipling Avenue, north of Kleinburg, Ont.
The children's grandmother and great-grandmother survived the crash.
Muzzo is scheduled to make his next court appearance on Dec. 10.
"We will come to every court hearing. It is getting harder and harder," Neville-Lake said.
"We owe it to them."