A grieving dad has detailed the moment he came face-to-face with the man who mowed down his three children in a horror crash.
Danny and Leila Abdallah lost their children Antony, 13, Angelina, 12 and Sienna, eight, along with their niece Veronique Sakr, 11, when they were hit by a car while walking on a footpath to get ice cream.
The driver, Samuel Davidson, is serving a 20-year jail sentence for the incident that took place in Oatlands, in Sydney's west, on February 1, 2020. He was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time. The incident shocked the whole of Australia.
Having already forgiven the driver and founded the i4give Foundation to remember their lost loved ones and encourage others to find forgiveness, dad Danny took things one step further — he went to confront the driver at an organised visit in jail.
Danny revealed at first, he didn’t know how things would go. “I shook his hand and he just fell to his knees, put his head on the floor and said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry I took your kids’,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.
“He was crying and I was crying … you just see nobody won in this.
“I was at a crossroads in my life and the hardest question as a parent is you can lose your whole family with bitterness and seek revenge or you can keep half of your family and find forgiveness.”
The Abdallah family will tell about 500 people gathered at the Australian National Prayer Breakfast in Parliament House in Canberra on Monday that they are in contact with the driver with Leila planning on meeting him in person too.
Former PM says family have 'every right' to be furious
Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has become close with the family following the incident, hailed the family’s composure.
“They had every right to be furious, they had every right to be vindictive, they had every right to lash out and they chose a different path. And I know why they did because we share the same faith,” he said.
Delight as Leila is pregnant with eighth child
Last month, Danny revealed the exciting news that his wife was pregnant with their eighth child.
“Leila's well, she's pregnant again. I got one past the goalkeeper! And yeah, she's been pretty busy with the kids,” he told 2GB at the time.
The 2020 crash rocked the country, with many in awe at the Abdallahs' remarkable act of forgiveness for the driver just days later.
The couple later set up the i4give Foundation - which coincides with the anniversary of the crash - to remember their lost loved ones and help others in similar situations.
The Abdallahs have also launched a civil suit against Davidson.
The legal action, which is believed to involve Davidson's insurance policy, seeks payment for ongoing trauma to the family and for children who were injured but survived the catastrophic accident.
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