One minute, he was telling his kids they would be okay. The next day, he had to adjust to the reality that they were gone forever.
Outliving your kids is possibly one of the greatest pains a parent has to live with. Knowing that the children you nurtured, fed, played with and most of all, loved intensely, are no longer with you, can send you into a spiral of darkness and shatter your heart. That is what Daniel Abdallah had to go through when his three children were killed after they were hit by a drunk driver in Sydney, Australia.
The heartbroken father of Antony, 13, Angelina, 12, and Sienna, eight, said, according to Mirror UK, that they had gone cycling with their babysitter to get ice cream from local shops. Along with them were four of the siblings' cousins. Right before they head out though, Daniel told them, "Go for a little walk, stay together, you guys should be OK." Little did he know that those would be the last words he ever told his beloved children before they were struck by a Mistubishi Triton which had gotten onto the curb.
Opening up about the pain of suddenly losing three of his kids, he said, "These kids were just walking innocently, enjoying each other's company... and this morning I woke up and I have lost three kids. I always say full-time father, part-time worker. They were my priority. And now they're gone. I don't know what to say. I'm numb, probably that's what I feel at the moment. All I want to say is please, drivers, be careful."
Daniel described what his kids were like — the ones he would never get to hold in his arms again. He said, “Antony is 13, very handsome boy. He loved basketball. He woke up that morning and said, ‘We’re going to play this game for Kobe (Bryant)’. Angelina, she was my MLH, my little helper. Anything I needed, she had my back. Sienna, she was my little diva, my little actress."
"They've gone to a better place," the father-of-six said. Two of children's mother, Leila was absolutely devastated at their loss as well. At the site of the crash, a makeshift memorial had been set up and as she approached it, she was seen breaking down in front of the flowers and teddy bears that had been left to remember the victims. What was once a happy family of eight had been suddenly cut down to a grieving family of just five.
However, they weren't the only ones whose kids were affected by the crash. The remaining four children, the siblings' cousins, were also gravely injured in the tragedy and needed immediate hospitalization. But one of those cousins, 11-year-old Veronique, succumbed to her injuries and passed away, according to 7 News AU.
The driver in question, 29-year-old Samuel William Davidson, was interrogated and charged with 20 offenses including four counts of manslaughter, dangerous driving occasioning death and grievous bodily harm, negligent driving, and drink-driving. He allegedly had three times the legal blood alcohol limit at the time of the crash. Davidson was arrested after the roadside breath test result allegedly recorded a blood alcohol reading of 0.15.
However, despite the fact that he could be responsible for taking the lives of four children and seriously injuring three more with his rash driving, Leila forgives him.
“The guy, I know he was (allegedly) drunk, driving on this street. Right now I can’t hate him. I don’t want to see him, (but) I don’t hate him,” she said, according to News AU. “I think in my heart, I forgive him, but I want the court to be fair. It’s all about fairness. I’m not going to hate him, because that’s not who we are. To be fully honest with you, it feels very unreal, I still don’t feel it’s true, I feel that they are still with me – I’m still waiting for them to come home."
Davidson did not appear in court and did not apply for bail, which was formally refused by magistrate John McIntosh. He is scheduled to return to Parramatta Local Court on April 2.
"I opened my eyes this morning, I was waiting for Antony, Angelina and Sienna... you see all of them around each other, cheering each other up, lifting each other. And I just miss them – I was waiting for that," added the devastated mother.
No one knows how long it will take these families to heal from such a loss. But we send our love, prayers and condolences to them. R.I.P to those young souls who stepped out that day just for some ice cream and joy.