An alleged drunk driver has been charged with multiple offenses including manslaughter after a SUV struck seven children on a Sydney sidewalk, killing four and seriously injuring a fifth.
The children were walking to buy ice cream when they were struck before 8 p.m. on Saturday by a vehicle driven by Samuel Davidson, police said.
Three of the children killed were siblings and their brother was taken to a hospital in serious conditions. The fourth child killed was the daughter of their father’s cousin.
The father, Danny Abdallah, told reporters on Sunday he was heartbroken.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m numb,” Mr. Abdallah said. “All I want to say is- please, drivers, be careful.”
“These kids were just walking innocently, enjoying each other’s company … and this morning I woke up and I have lost three kids,” he added.
Mr. Abdallah and his wife Leila had had six children. He said his cousin had also lost an 11-year-old child in the tragedy, Veronique Sakr.
Another two girls, aged 10 and 13, suffered minor injuries, authorities said.
Davidson, the alleged driver, was arrested at the scene on Saturday and remained in custody.
The 20 charges against him, including four of manslaughter, were read in a Sydney court on Sunday. He did not appear in court and was refused bail until his next court appearance on April 2.
Davidson allegedly recorded a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15% — three-times the legal limit in Australia.
Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Jason Joyce said the driver remained at the scene until the police arrived and there were indications his 24-year-old male passenger tried to help some of the children. Neither the driver nor the passenger was injured.
Abdallah said all seven children injured were related and were staying at the Abdallah house.
“They were all coming over to get babysat. I told them- ‘Just go for a walk, little walk, stay together. You should be OK,’” he said.