Parents of three children mowed down by a drunk and drugged driver open up about forgiving the man responsible for their deaths in moving speech at the Vatican – on what would be their son’s 16th birthday
- Danny and Leila Abdallah and their four children visited the Vatican on Saturday
- The pair spoke on how they forgave the man who killed their children and niece
- On February 1, 2020, their three children and niece were killed by a drunk driver
- Samuel William Davidson was behind the wheel and has been jailed over crime
- Sienna, 8, Angelina, 12, Antony, 13, and cousin Veronique Sakr, 11, were killed
The parents of three kids who were tragically run over and killed have described how forgiving the drug driver responsible for their deaths meant they could move forward.
Danny and Leila Abdallah delivered a powerful speech about forgiveness at the Vatican in Rome on Saturday, supported by their children Liana, 12, Alex, seven, Michael, six, and three-month-old Selina.
Their three children Sienna, 8, Angelina, 12, Antony, 13, and niece Veronique Sakr, 11, were killed by Samuel William Davidson who was intoxicated while behind the wheel on February 1, 2020.
The four children along with three other siblings and cousins were walking on the footpath on Bettington Road in Oatlands, Sydney, when the driver mounted the curb and struck the children from behind.
In what would have been Antony’s 16th birthday, the Pope invited his parents to speak at the Catholic Church’s World Meeting of Families.
Danny and Leila Abdallah, accompanied by their four children, spoke at the Vatican on Saturday (pictured, the Abdallah family)
Their daughters, Sienna, 8, (second from left) and Angelina, 12, (right) their son Anthony, 13, (second from right) and niece Veronique Sakr, 11,(left) were on their way to buy ice-cream when a drunk driver ran them over and killed them in February 2020
‘It was a perfect summer’s day when seven precious, adorable children walked to get some ice cream for my niece’s birthday,’ Mr Abdallah said.
‘What should have been an enjoyable outing for the young kids turned into one of the worst road tragedies Australia has ever seen.
‘From far away I saw the police cover Antony, Selina, Angelina and Veronique with white sheets.’
Mr Abdallah said despite ‘unbearable pain and sleepless nights’ he chose to forgive Davidson so his family could find peace.
‘We would either be stuck in the valley of pain and grief or I could lead them to the high ground,’ he said.
Samuel William Davidson, 31, was sentenced to last year to a maximum of 28-year prison sentence with a minimum 21 year sentence which does not expire until 2041
On February 1, 2020, Mr and Mrs Abdallah’s three children Sienna, 8, Angelina, 12, Antony, 13, and niece Veronique Sakr, 11, were killed by an intoxicated driver (pictured, the car after the crash)
‘I choose to forgive myself for telling my kids to go for a walk. If my children were here today they would say ”Dad forgive him”.’
Mrs Abdallah, just two days after losing her children, remarkably said she forgave the driver, later adding her response to the tragedy saved her marriage and her family.
Her son Alex said he couldn’t understand why.
The family said forgiving the man responsible for their heartache was the only way they could move forward
The family were invited to speak on what would have been Antony’s 16th birthday
‘When I heard my brother and sisters died, my mum and dad told me they forgave the driver, but I wasn’t that happy because I was like, ”too quick”,’ he told Catholic News Service.
The seven-year-old said that now within his heart, he too has forgiven Davidson.
Mrs Abdallah also took the chance to wish her son Antony a ‘happy, heavenly 16th birthday’.
She said she now feels closest to her lost children when she is at mass and feels at peace knowing they are in heaven.
Davidson was sentenced last year to a maximum of 28-year prison sentence with a minimum 21 year sentence which does not expire until 2041.
Witnesses saw him speeding through a red light, swerving anti-clockwise around a round-about, and driving at a maximum speed of 133km/h in a 50km/h zone before the crash.
Despite losing three children, when Ms Abdallah, 37, is asked how many kids she has, she always says seven – ‘three in heaven and four here’.
Despite losing three children, when Ms Abdallah, 37, is asked how many kids she has, she always says seven – ‘three in heaven and four here’ (pictured are her kids Antony, Angelina and Sienna)