Permanent memorial for four children killed by an out-of-control drunk driver when they were walking beside a golf course on their way for ice cream has been rejected
- Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney’s west has rejected plans for a memorial garden
- Four children were hit and killed as they walked next to the golf course last year
- Club’s board decided memorial would unduly remind neighbours of the tragedy
- Samuel William Davidson, 31, was sentenced to a minimum of 21 years in jail
A permanent memorial for four children who were killed by an out-of-control drunk driver while on their way to get ice cream has been refused.
Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney’s west has rejected plans for a memorial garden for Abdallah children Sienna, 8, Angelina, 12, and Antony, 13, and their 11-year-old cousin Veronique Sakr, 11.
The children died in February last year when a drunk driver ploughed into them as they walked on the footpath alongside the golf course.
‘We are devastated by the decision of the Oatlands Golf Club Board to end discussions for a modest commemorative garden on the edge of the golf course where our children were killed,’ Leila and Danny Abdallah said in a statement on Wednesday.
Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney’s west has rejected plans for a memorial garden for Abdallah children Sienna, 8, Angelina, 12, and Antony, 13, and their 11-year-old cousin Veronique Sakr, 11
Floral tributes and stuff toys are seen at the site of the Oatlands tragedy in February 2020
‘We respectfully ask the board to reconsider its decision so that our children can be honoured and the community can have a place to remember the Oatlands tragedy.
‘We love our children dearly and we will always grieve the loss of our beautiful kids.
‘Our proposed commemorative garden simply honours our children, Antony, Angelina, Sienna and Veronique and our survivors Liana, Charbel and Mabelle.’
The club’s board rejected designs drawn up by Parramatta Council, without first consulting its members, on the basis they were too elaborate and would unduly remind neighbours of the tragedy, The Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday.
The latest compromise design consisted of a small bench and four sunken sandstone boulders.
‘All concepts submitted by Parramatta Council on behalf of the families have been well outside the scale of what had been communicated as appropriate,’ Oatlands Golf Club general manager Sam Howe said in an email to members.
Oatlands Golf Club’s board rejected designs drawn up by Parramatta Council, without first consulting its members, on the basis they were too elaborate and would unduly remind neighbours of the tragedy
‘In light of there being no support from the families for a memorial that the board has deemed appropriate to take to the membership, the board has decided to close negotiations.’
The decision comes a week after the Abdallah family home was broken into and thieves stole personal possessions, including their dead son Anthony’s phone.
Driver Samuel William Davidson had been sitting poolside with his housemates drinking Vodka Cruisers and beers, having his first drink about 7am before consuming drugs and driving on February 1.
He was observed by witnesses speeding through a red light, swerving anti-clockwise around a round-about, and driving at a maximum speed of 133km/h in a 50km/h zone.
Pictured: Veronique Sakr, 11, was one of the victims of the 2020 Oatlands tragedy. She was killed alongside three of her cousins
After the crash, Davidson appeared distressed and was heard saying: ‘What have I done? … I have killed people … I am going to jail.’
Despite Davidson’s horrific crime, the Abdallah family have forgiven the 31-year-old.
Davidson was last month sentenced to a maximum term in prison of 28 years.
The professional truck driver was afforded a 25 per cent discount on sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter for the children he killed and also pleading guilty to three charges relating to the injuries caused to three other children.
One boy has suffered permanent brain damage.