Marco Muzzo, right, seen here at the Newmarket courthouse in a Feb. 4, 2016, file photo, was denied day and full parole at a Wednesday hearing. (CHRISTOPHER KATSAROV / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Parole denied for drunk driver who killed three kids and their grandfather

A panel with the Parole Board of Canada says Marco Muzzo has not addressed his alcohol misuse.

A drunk driver who killed three young children and their grandfather in a crash north of Toronto three years ago has been denied parole.

A panel with the Parole Board of Canada says Marco Muzzo has not addressed his alcohol misuse, and denied him both day parole and full parole.

“We don’t question your remorse,” the panel said. “It’s obvious that this is a very difficult thing for you to deal with.”

Muzzo was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

The September 2015 crash claimed the lives of 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.

The children’s grandmother and great-grandmother were also seriously injured in the collision in Vaughan, Ont.

The crash set off a wave of public grief that led to several candlelight vigils to honour the victims. It also sparked debate on the legal penalties for drunk driving, with some advocacy groups calling for tougher sentences.

Muzzo’s hearing was told the Parole board received numerous letters both against and in favour of granting the man some form of release.

The mother of the children Muzzo killed told the hearing that his expressions of remorse rung hollow as he had sought parole at the first opportunity.

“I don’t and won’t get the chance for parole from this life sentence of misery and despair,” Jennifer Neville-Lake told the hearing.

Related: Parole hearing scheduled today for drunk driver who killed 3 kids

Related: Drunk driver Marco Muzzo says lawsuit from Neville-Lake family should be reduced

The crash took place after Muzzo had returned from his bachelor party in Florida on a private plane and picked up his car at Pearson International Airport.

Muzzo told the parole hearing that he had been drinking until 3 a.m. during his bachelor party and then had up to four drinks on the flight back to Toronto, but still felt he could drive.

“I should have known better but I took a chance,” he said, wiping tears away at one point. “I felt fine but there was that slight grogginess.”

He said he still vividly remembers the screams from the scene of the crash.

“It’s something I can’t forget,” he said.

When asked if he had driven drunk before, Muzzo said he had driven after having some drinks in the past but had never done so while “wasted.”

Muzzo was speeding and drove through a stop sign, T-boning the minivan carrying the Neville-Lake family, his court case heard.

A police officer called to the scene said Muzzo had glossy eyes, smelled of alcohol and had urinated on himself, according to an agreed statement of fact read in court. Court heard two breathalyzer tests showed Muzzo had 192 and 204 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.

It was only after he arrived at the police station that Muzzo learned the four had died, court heard.

At his sentencing, the judge presiding over the case said Muzzo’s lengthy record of driving infractions before the deadly incident suggested he had an “irresponsible attitude towards the privilege of driving.”

And while Muzzo showed genuine remorse for his actions, he must be held accountable for the irreversible suffering he’s caused, the judge said.

The Muzzo family, one of Canada’s wealthiest, owns the drywall company Marel Contractors.

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Stettler Library has lots programs for public

Memberships are free for county and town residents

MLA: You don’t vote for the tail

Bureaucracy overtakes elected representatives

Our Town Stettler: Convalescent Hospital opened in 1954 first of its kind

Gave Stettler forward-thinking reputation for helping an ageing population

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

Witness refuses to testify against John Savage

Preliminary hearing on Stettler man for second-degree murder halted, plea bargain made

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

WATCH: Team Alberta in Red Deer this weekend to prepare for Canada Winter Games

About 250 Team Alberta athletes toured venues and tested out facilities Saturday

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Ponoka cowboy Vernon (Bud) Butterfield passes away

The Ponoka Stampede Association announced his passing Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Ponoka RCMP are looking for a missing man

Police say he may be in Drayton Valley and they are worried for his wellbeing

Dog dies saving B.C. family from burning home

Homeowners safe but one pet missing, another confirmed dead following fire

Most Read