SYDNEY (AP) — An allegedly drunken driver has been charged with 20 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 Saturday evening 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 condition. 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,” 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.
His children Antony, 13, Angelina, 12 and Sienna, 9, were killed. Their 10-year-old bother was in serious but stable condition.
Abdallah and his wife Leila had had six children. He said his cousin lost an 11-year-old child, Veronique Sakr.
Two other girls aged 10 and 13 suffered minor injuries, authorities said.
Davidson 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.
He has not entered any pleas. Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
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 of the injured children 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.