Suspected drunk driver’s family ‘deeply saddened’ by crash that left 4 dead

One of Canada's wealthiest families expressed sorrow and sympathy Tuesday after one of its own was accused in an alleged drunk driving incident that claimed the lives of three children and their grandfather.

TORONTO — One of Canada’s wealthiest families expressed sorrow and sympathy Tuesday after one of its own was accused in an alleged drunk driving incident that claimed the lives of three children and their grandfather.

Marco Muzzo, of King Township, Ont., faces a dozen impaired-driving offences and six charges related to the dangerous operation of a motor vehicle after he allegedly crashed into a minivan carrying six members of a family on Sunday.

“We are all greatly saddened by yesterday’s tragedy and express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Neville, Lake and Frias families,” Muzzo’s mother, Dawn, said in a statement bearing Monday’s date.

“We would ask for the co-operation of the media in respecting the privacy of our family during this very difficult time.”

The Muzzo family owns the drywall company Marel Contractors and is worth nearly $1.8 billion, according to Canadian Business magazine. The family had not spoken publicly since the fatal crash in Vaughan, north of Toronto.

Daniel Neville-Lake, 9, his brother Harrison, 5, their sister Milly, 2, and the kids’ 65-year-old grandfather died following the crash.

A candlelight vigil is planned for the Neville-Lake family Thursday night at St. Padre Pio church in Vaughan.

Thousands of people have also donated to an online fundraiser in the names of the four victims. By noon Tuesday, more than $150,000 had been raised through the GoFundMe campaign.

A bail hearing for Marco Muzzo is scheduled Friday.

His late grandfather, Marco Muzzo Sr., immigrated to Canada from Italy in the 1950s and became a highly influential developer in the Toronto area.

“He built most of Mississauga,” the city’s former mayor, Hazel McCallion, said in an interview. “Very generous man, very responsible — his word was as good as his signature.”

She described the late Muzzo as “very private” and said the family “must be under great, great stress.”

Before the crash, Marco Muzzo had seven non-criminal offences, including a conviction for driving with a handheld device, according to the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.

Muzzo’s previous offences occurred throughout the Toronto area, from Richmond Hill to Newmarket, Orillia and Mississauga, the ministry said.

His lawyer, Rudi Covre, said he was unaware of the previous offences but does not believe they’ll have any effect on the criminal case.

“There may be a minimal role that they play but I don’t think there will be any impact,” he said. “A lot of kids, a lot of people have traffic tickets.”

He added he didn’t yet know how his client intended to plead.

Marco Muzzo was charged last March with holding a handheld communication device while driving in Caledon, Ont., according to a copy of the ticket obtained by The Canadian Press.

A Caledon courthouse clerk says he failed to respond to the ticket and was automatically convicted and paid the $280 fine.

In February 2012, Muzzo was charged with speeding, allegedly travelling 134 kilometres per hour in a 100 km/h zone on Highway 407 in Oshawa, Ont., at 10:46 a.m.

A Durham Whitby court clerk said the speeding ticket was withdrawn and no reasons were given.

In October 2012, Muzzo was charged with driving an off-road vehicle on a highway instead of on the shoulder in Severn Township, south of the Muskokas. Court records indicated he paid both fines — $110 each.

A woman calling herself a friend of the Neville-Lake family has started an online petition urging the federal government to increase penalties for impaired driving.

“There needs to be NO MERCY! It should be very simple. If you drink & then drive, YOU ARE GOING TO JAIL!,” Jacky Duncan wrote.

MADD Canada said there are somewhere between 1,250 and 1,500 deaths related to impaired driving in Canada each year.

The organization’s CEO, Andrew Murie, said both the federal and provincial governments should take a harder stance against impaired driving.

Provinces such as British Columbia and Alberta have seen drastic drops in impaired driving incidents once they began impounding the vehicles of those found to have 50 and 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, he said.

Anything above 80 milligrams is a criminal offence, but provinces impose their own penalties in the 50-range. In Ontario, those penalties are a three-day licence suspension and $180 fine for a first offence.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Jayden Grubbe is one of three Rebels on the NHL Central Scouting players to watch list for the 2021 NHL Draft. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Rebels seek consistency ahead of matchup with Hitmen

The Red Deer Rebels had to deal with a pang of regret… Continue reading

Quinn Mason died from an opioid overdose at the age of 23 in June 2020. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta mother whose son died from overdose advocates for ‘change’

It’s been about nine months since her son died from an overdose,… Continue reading

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday that the province was ready to move forward with Phase 2A and B in the coming weeks. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Majority of Albertans to receive first shot before June 30: Shandro

Shandro says all Albertans should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine by June 30

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

Alberta’s Jobs, Economy and Innovation Minister Doug Schweitzer spoke on Thursday by webinar to Red Deer Chamber of Commerce members. (Screenshot by Advocate staff).
Alberta’s economic diversification is already underway, says Jobs Minister

From the geothermal to the TV industry, new jobs will be created, said Doug Schweitzer

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Dillon Dube scores hat trick for Flames in 7-3 win over Senators

Dillon Dube scores hat trick for Flames in 7-3 win over Senators

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp gives instructions during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Thursday, March 4, 2021. (Phil Noble, Pool via AP)
Liverpool slumps to historic 5th straight loss at Anfield

Liverpool slumps to historic 5th straight loss at Anfield

Philadelphia Flyers' Sean Couturier (14) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Flyers rally from early deficit to stun Penguins 4-3

Flyers rally from early deficit to stun Penguins 4-3

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen reacts to a goal by Winnipeg Jets' Paul Stastny, left, during first-period NHL hockey action in Montreal on Thursday, March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Pierre-Luc Dubois scores overtime winner as Winnipeg Jets edge Montreal Canadiens 4-3

Pierre-Luc Dubois scores overtime winner as Winnipeg Jets edge Montreal Canadiens 4-3

Toronto Raptors guard Terence Davis (0) shoots after grabbing a rebound against Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Boston. At right is Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Tatum scores 27, Celtics outlast depleted Raptors 132-125

Tatum scores 27, Celtics outlast depleted Raptors 132-125

International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel answers a question during a news conference addressing hockey issues at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The International Ice Hockey Federation has confirmed the postponement of the women's world hockey championship in Nova Scotia to May 6-16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Mark Humphrey
IIHF postpones women’s world hockey championship in Nova Scotia to May

IIHF postpones women’s world hockey championship in Nova Scotia to May

Quebec Premier François Legault chairs a virtual news conference Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Montreal. The premiers from the left are: John Horgan, B.C.; Jason Kenney, Alberta; Scott Moe, Saskatchewan; Legault, Quebec; Brian Pallister, Manitoba; Doug Ford, Ontario; and Blaine Higgs, New Brunswick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Premiers reiterate demand for $28-billion increase in health transfers from Ottawa

Premiers reiterate demand for $28-billion increase in health transfers from Ottawa

Most Read