Father of three children killed in a car crash caused by a drunk driver has taken his own life

A Toronto father took his own life over a year after the man who killed his three young children was granted full freedom after serving only four years in prison. In September 2015, Marco Muzzo, who was drunk at the time, killed Edward Lake’s three children: Daniel, 9, Harry, 5, and Milly, 2.

Daniel died on the scene, while Harry and Milly were declared brain dead and passed away shortly after at a local children’s hospital. In a statement to reporters at the time, Lake stated that his children were all he could see when he closed his eyes and that this was a never-ending nightmare.

9-year-old boy approaches an unfamiliar police officer and discreetly hands over a note
Jennifer Neville-Lake/Facebook

While Muzzo was serving his sentence, Edward Lake spoke openly about his suicidal thoughts and the fact that his family would have to live with the pain caused by Muzzo for the rest of their lives.

On June 20th, Edward was found dead at the age of 49. His father-in-law, Gary Neville, who was the grandfather of the children, was also killed in the tragic accident that took the lives of his grandchildren.

9-year-old boy approaches an unfamiliar police officer and discreetly hands over a note
Toronto Star via Getty Images; Jennifer Neville-Lake/Facebook

The collision had left Neriza Neville, the children’s grandmother, and Joseina Frias, the great-grandmother, critically injured. However, they managed to recover from their injuries. The vehicle was being driven by Neriza Neville at the time of the accident.

In the aftermath, Jennifer Neville-Lake, Edward’s wife, shared that she attempted suicide when her children were taken off life support and also suffered a miscarriage during that same period.

Muzzo had just returned from his bachelor party in Miami on a private plane when he drove through a stop sign and crashed into the Lake family’s minivan, hitting the driver’s side at nearly 50 miles per hour. He later admitted to consuming three to four cocktails on the plane, and his blood alcohol concentration was approximately three times the legal limit.

Jennifer Neville-Lake announced on Facebook the death of her husband of 16 years, Edward Lake, stating that he has been reunited with their children so they can play together forever. She also included the Filipino phrase “Mahal kita,” which means “I love you.”

Jennifer expressed her mourning in the post, saying that the eyes Edward shared with Harry are now permanently closed, Daniel’s curls will never glisten in the sunlight again, and Milly’s gentle grin will never slip over his lips again.

9-year-old boy approaches an unfamiliar police officer and discreetly hands over a note

York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween expressed his sorrow over Ed Lake’s tragic death in a tweet, stating that he was deeply saddened to hear the news. He also acknowledged that the losses suffered by the Neville-Lake family were heartbreaking.

In a separate post just before Edward’s death, Jennifer had shared a photo of her children’s gravestones and wrote:  ‘Father’s Day 2022.’ This cannot be true. It’s not possible.’

9-year-old boy approaches an unfamiliar police officer and discreetly hands over a note

In March 2016, Marco Muzzo was involved in a collision that resulted in the deaths of four people and injuries to two others.

He pleaded guilty to four charges of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.

Muzzo received a sentence of nine years and four months in prison, as well as a 12-year driving ban, which was the harshest penalty ever given to a first-time drunk driving offender at the time.

According to reports, Muzzo had previously been convicted of public intoxication and had numerous speeding violations.

He was granted day release in May 2020, but the parole board postponed his release date to November 2020 and scheduled a hearing to assess his eligibility for full parole.

While on parole, Muzzo was required to abstain from alcohol and reside in a halfway house. During his court proceedings, he claimed that he would never drink again.

During the renewal of his parole in November 2020, Jennifer shared on Facebook that she wasn’t surprised by the decision, as she had little faith in the judicial system. With the man who tore her family apart nearing his release, she faced a holiday season that held no joy for her.

He was eventually granted full parole in February 2021, and on June 18, 2022, he was released from prison. Although Muzzo’s sentence is slated to conclude in July 2025, Jennifer expressed on Facebook that her pain and suffering will continue beyond that date, and she will serve multiple life sentences.

During the parole hearing, Jennifer revealed that she had attempted suicide in the aftermath of the accident, and was also pregnant at the time, ultimately losing the child around the same time that her other children were taken off life support.

9-year-old boy approaches an unfamiliar police officer and discreetly hands over a note
Jennifer Neville-Lake/Facebook

Under Canadian law, criminals are eligible for full parole after serving one-third of their sentence, provided they have completed six months of day parole.

In November 2018, Muzzo was denied day parole by the board, who found that he did not fully grasp “the problem of impairment.”

Muzzo comes from a family with a multibillion-dollar construction business, and a petition was launched after Edward’s death to remove the Muzzo name from two Toronto hospitals that had received donations from the family. Despite this, both Mackenzie Health and Sickkids Hospital have stated that they have no plans to change the name.

Sickkids Hospital was where Harry and Milly Lake were pronounced dead after the crash in 2015. The Sickkids Foundation received a donation from Muzzo’s family in 2006, while Mackenzie Health received one in 2017.

In a statement released through his lawyer in 2020, Muzzo admitted to recklessly and foolishly drinking and driving, causing irreparable harm. He acknowledged that he will have to live with the consequences for the rest of his life.

During Muzzo’s sentencing hearing in 2016, Jennifer expressed the depth of her grief, stating that she no longer has anyone to call her mother, as he took the lives of all of her children. She longs to return to her previous life, missing her children and father deeply.

Edward expressed in the past that he was struggling with suicidal thoughts and felt lost and devastated.

In 2019, Jennifer shared that she missed being a mother to her living children. During the same interview, she described her oldest child as a proud ballet dancer and member of Scouts Canada, with aspirations of writing a cookbook.

Despite having both hands amputated due to health issues, her middle child Harry was a cheerful and carefree individual who had a fondness for bugs and worms, holding them in his hands and making jokes about them.

Milly, her youngest child, loved being spun around by her father and had a way of making those close to her feel loved with a simple hug and kiss.

After the tragic loss of her children, Jennifer founded Many Hands, Doing Good, a non-profit organization that employs art and music therapy to provide healing to others.

Reports indicate that Jennifer supported a 2022 legislative review of Canada’s National Victims Bill of Rights, which was criticized for being inadequate in providing consistent support to families seeking information, protection, and reparations in cases like hers.