A Canadian mother of three children whose lives were tragically cut short in a 2015 drunk driving crash has shared her "last family photo" on social media.
Jennifer Neville-Lake's emotional post on Friday gave a glimpse into the cherished moments she spent with her family, whose lives were forever changed eight years ago following a crash with drunk driver Marco Muzzo.
The Ontario mother reminisced about her last family photo, which included kids Daniel, Harrison and Milly, along with her late husband, Edward Lake.
"Eight years ago today, we took our last family photo in Harry's classroom," Neville-Lake wrote in her social media post on Friday. "According to the clock, less than 24 hours later, we would pick up our first new vehicle in 10 years, our family minivan."
On Instagram, she went on to reflect about the time she was able to spend with her family.
"I remember how much fun the kids had at the BBQ, how I laughed and joked with some of the other parents about joining the minivan brigade," the mother shared. "How much fun Daniel had showing us his classroom, how Milly had hidden from Ed in the library just before this photo was taken, how Harry was so excited to show us his new photo on the classroom wall with his long hair."
She continued sharing how much "pride" she felt in watching her children grow up.
"I just don't think I have the words for how much I wish I could go back into this photo and just stay there," she concluded in her post, adding hashtags like "#missthemlikecrazy," "#proudnanay" and "#consequencesmatter."
Neville-Lake's post garnered lots of attention on social media, with users expressing their sympathy and solidarity.
"Beautiful family picture, hang on to the memories and take strength from them. Sending hugs," one user commented on Instagram.
"No words can possibly describe the pain you feel everyday. Your pain is not fathomable. My heart is filled with sadness for you," wrote another user.
"Oh, Jenn. I am so, so sorry. You have the most beautiful family," someone shared on X, formerly known as Twitter. "I hope you know they're watching over you. Thank you so much for all of the advocation work you do for not drinking and driving (MADD). You're a strong woman who inspires many, don't ever forget that."
"This picture of you and your beautiful family makes me smile, but it makes me very sad and angry for you," someone else replied. "It's not fair, they and you didn't deserve this. You are thought about so often and so many of us wish we could change things for you. Sending you healing thoughts and love."
A tragic incident
On Sept. 27, 2015, Neville-Lake's sons, nine-year-old Daniel and five-year-old Harrison, along with her two-year-old daughter, Milly, were killed in Vaughan, Ont. by drunk driver Marco Muzzo. The kids' 65-year-old grandfather, Gary Neville, also died in the car crash, and their maternal grandmother and great-grandmother were left seriously injured.
Muzzo was driving at 85 km/h after he went through a stop sign and struck the family's mini-van. He had just returned from the United States after celebrating his bachelor party.
In March 2016, Muzzo was sentenced to 10 years in prison as well as a 12-year driving prohibition. He pled guilty to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two counts of impaired driving causing bodily harm.
In February 2021, he was granted full parole.
The eyes he shared with Harry are forever closed
Daniel's curls will never shine in the sunlight again
I will never see Milly's shy smile creep across his lips anymore
My children's father, Edward Lake, has joined our kids so they can play together, forever.
Mahal kita, Edward. pic.twitter.com/4nHREvd9Xe
— Jenn Neville-Lake (@isda1979) June 21, 2022
Last June, Neville-Lake posted on social media that her husband, Edward Lake, had also died.
"The eyes he shared with Harry are forever closed. Daniel's curls will never shine in the sunlight again. I will never see Milly's shy smile creep across his lips anymore," Neville-Lake wrote in that post. "My children's father, Edward Lake, has joined our kids so they can play together, forever."
Back in 2016 during Muzzo's sentencing, Lake said in a statement that he had been experiencing suicidal thoughts and anxiety since the crash.
Peel Regional Police officers responded to an incident at the family's Brampton, Ont. home on Father's Day in 2022, ultimately holding Lake overnight. He was released the following morning, until police were called a second time, where they found his body.