Four Maronite children have died in a road accident, believed to have been caused by drink driving, in Western Sydney. Three of the children were from a family of six, and the other was their cousin.
An alleged drunk driver has been charged with 20 offences related to the horror smash in Sydney which left four children dead and three others injured.
The 29-year-old driver was allegedly behind the wheel of the out-of-control 4WD which ploughed into the group walking along Bettington Road in Oatlands, near Parramatta, last night at about 8pm.
The man, who was uninjured, was breath-tested following the incident and returned a reading of 0.150, three times above the legal limit.
He will appear in court later today to face multiple charges including four counts of manslaughter, four counts of dangerous driving occasioning death, dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, drink driving, and driving through a red traffic light.
Daniel Abdallah’s three children were killed in the horrific incident and he pleaded with drivers to be more carfeul.
“Yesterday, I lost three of my children,” the tearful father of six said.
“I had a cousin, Bridget, she lost her daughter as well. I don’t know what to say. I’m numb, probably that’s how I feel at the moment.
“All I just want to say is please, drivers, be careful. These kids were just walking innocently, enjoying each others’ company, and this morning I woke up – I have lost three kids.”
“Please, just, make sure you love your loved ones, your kids especially.”
Mr Abdallah and his wife Leila’s children Antony, 13, Angelina, 12 and Sienna, 9, in the accident, who he said had “gone to a better a place”.
Community groups have flooded social media with an outpouring of grief following the tragic incident.
“Tonight before you sleep we ask that you remember in your prayers a young Maronite family from our Parish who has been devastatingly affected by a serious accident,” said a post on the Living Maronite Facebook page. “We keep them all in our prayers.”
This is a tragedy which will leave permanent scars on the families involved. It does however demonstrate the benefit of having large families. Despite their devastation the mother and father of six will be able to take comfort in the fact that they have still have three children.
It is something to learn from. Despite improvements in infant survival and life expectancy, tragedies still occur. Having many children is how families stay resilient and a people remain demographically strong.