Basmah Qazi

News

"Our children are our reason for living": Thousands gather to mourn at Oatlands funeral

"Our children are our reason for living": Thousands gather to mourn at Oatlands funeral

Thousands have showed up to the funeral of the three Abdallah siblings tragically killed in a 4WD crash in western Sydney last weekend.

The streets around the Our Lady of Lebanon church in Harris Park have been blocked off since this morning as Christian hymns are played through the PA system.

The crowd is so big it’s spilling out onto the street, with Jenny Morrison and other community leaders also in attendance.

The priest said the siblings’ parents Daniel and Leila wanted this morning to be a celebration of the lives of Antony, 13, Angelina, 12, and Sienna, 9, through religious ceremony and prayer.

He said the three children were taken from the world at a “tender age”.

The horrific accident occurred when an alleged drunk driver crashed into the group of children as they were walking together to get ice cream in Oatlands.

It has been alleged that Samuel William Davidson was allegedly three times the legal blood alcohol limit when he ran into the children.

The 29-year-old has been charged with 20 offences including four counts of manslaughter and is expected to make an appearance in court in April.

The priest addressed the hundreds of people gathered at the church and commended the siblings’ mother Leila as her words of forgiveness for the alleged drunk driver has “shocked the world”.

He said the three children had brought everyone together.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Leila said that she forgives Davidson as she visited the site of the crash.

“I think in my heart I forgive him. But I want the court to be fair. I’m not going to hate him because that’s not who we are,” she said.

“It feels very unreal. I feel like I’m still waiting for them to come home.”

In a deeply religious Maronite ceremony of chanting, singing and prayer the priest said the children were deeply connected to their faith.

He spoke about their father Daniel, and one of the last moments he shared with Antony as he was driving him to a basketball game.

He said the young boy told his father that he was going to play for basketball legend Kobe Bryant and they should stop at a church to pray on the way.

Close to 2000 people were present at the church as they held white roses and wore pins with photos of the Abdallah siblings.

Speaking to 7 News, the parents were unable to describe the pain they were feeling, saying it would require “endless words of despair”.

“Our children are our reason for living. Bringing them up in accordance with the ways of God, teaching them to love, affording them every opportunity and nurturing them into positive and impacting young men and women was, and is our life’s purpose,” they said.

“What is life without your children? How and where do we begin to pick up the pieces so that we may be effective parents to our three remaining angels?

“We start with forgiveness.”