Catholic mom of 3 kids killed in car crash: I forgive the drunk driver, my kids are in heaven
SYDNEY, Australia, February 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic mother of three children tragically killed when an alleged drunk driver crashed into them as they were walking this past weekend in Sydney, Australia, has said that she forgives the driver and asked only for prayer when interviewed by Australian media.
Three of Leila Geagea’s six children – Anthony, 13, Angelina ,12, and Sienna, 9 – died when they were struck by a car in the Oatlands suburb on Saturday night. Their 11-year-old cousin, Veronique Sakr, was also killed in the crash. Three other children were taken to hospital, with one boy in critical condition.
A 29-year-old man was allegedly behind the wheel of a 4WD utility vehicle that crashed into the children. He had allegedly driven through a red light, was driving in excess of the speed limit, and recorded three times the legal blood alcohol limit at the time of the crash. 7NEWS Australia reports that he has been charged with 20 offenses including four counts of manslaughter, dangerous driving occasioning death and grievous bodily harm, negligent driving, and drunk driving.
NSW assistant police commissioner Michael Corboy said that it was “one of the most tragic” incidents he has seen in his time as a police officer.
In a moving video, Leila spoke to 7NEWS Australia at the site where her children died, with her rosary beads in her hands. She told her interviewers that she believed her children were holy and that they are now in heaven.
Leila told the reporters: “I know the guy...was drunk-driving on these streets. Right now I can’t hate him. I don’t want to see him. I don’t hate him. I think in my heart I forgive him, but I want the court to be fair.”
She said: “I am sad, I am heartbroken, but I am at peace because I know my kids are in a better place. My kids are angels…These are soldiers of God, there is an afterlife.”
Leila told the media that educating her children in the Catholic faith was her first priority as a parent. She said: “We tried to focus on the spiritual side more than anything. We tried to teach them to pray the rosary, to read their Bible, to live their faith, to be good people in life, and to show God’s face through them.”
“My kids have had strong faith. The day of the incident my son was at the church, he was praying his rosary – so I know he’s in a safe place. My daughter was praying with my son in the car. Angelina, a couple of times she slept and the rosary was in her hand. My son used to ask St. Anthony whenever he [lost] something and St. Anthony would also deliver. I could tell you some awesome stories about my kids and it doesn’t stop. Angelina had a dream about St. Charbel and he told her that he loves her and my family is blessed. But I didn’t think they’re gonna take them away from me too soon.”
Leila compared her grief at losing her children to that of walking with Jesus on the stations of the cross.
“You all know about Christianity, and you all know about how Jesus died on the cross. And you all know about how on Good Friday it’s the stations of the cross,” she said. “And right now walking down this scene, I feel that I’m walking the stations of the cross. And to be fully honest with you it feels very unreal, I feel that they are still with me, I’m still waiting for them to come home.”
Leila’s husband, Danny Abdallah, also expressed his belief that his children “had gone to a better place.”
Asked by one reporter if there was anything she wanted from the wider community aside from prayer, Leila responded: “I feel like I need, as much they can, [them] to pray for us. And I think it’s not only for my kids. Everyone is praying for their own soul, because we are all going to die one day.”