Four Lebanese-Australian children killed in tragic drink-driving accident
An alleged drunk driver lost control of his vehicle in the Sydney suburb of Oatlands, ploughing into a group of seven children. They had been riding their bikes along a footpath on their way to buy ice cream, family members said.
Samuel Davidson, 29, was on Sunday denied bail and charged by the Parramatta court on 20 counts, including manslaughter and drink driving. He allegedly had a blood alcohol level three times over the legal limit.
The horrific incident caused the deaths of 13-year-old Antony Abdullah and his siblings Angelina, 12, and Sienna, 9, as well as their cousin Veronique Sakr, 11.
"Yesterday I lost three of my children. I had a cousin, Bridget, she lost her daughter as well," Daniel Abdullah said on Sunday morning according to AFP. Leila and Daniel Abdullah are left with three remaining children.
"I'm numb, probably that's how I feel at the moment," he said, adding that his children had gone on to "a better place".
"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."
The tremendous loss for Australia's 200,000-strong Lebanese community has reverberated in Beirut, where Prime Minister Hassan Diab tweeted: "This tragedy has affected all of Lebanon and not just the families of the victims."
The tragic incident has been widely shared on social media in Lebanon, with many paying their respects.
Lebanon's foreign ministry has instructed the country's ambassador to Australia to follow up on the incident and aid the grieving families, The Daily Star reported.
Antoine-Charbel Tarabay, Archbishop of Australia's Maronite Diocese, also gave his condolences for the families.
The Living Maronite organisation added on its Facebook page: "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."A makeshift memorial was put in place overnight at the site of the crash, with people coming to place flowers, teddy bears and candles.
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