Girl who survived the tragedy of the drunk driver of Oatlands, says goodbye to three brothers and sisters at the funeral
Danny and Leila Abdallah held the three children they lost in a car accident in their huge hearts on Monday when they wrapped the daughter who survived the massacre in their arms.
The Abdallahs entered the co-cathedral of Our Lady of Lebanon on Monday in Harris Park with daughter Leanna in between them, a plaster that still covers a wound on her face.
The 10-year-old, whose three brothers and sisters were killed when an allegedly drunk driver met them nine days ago in a suburb on the street, was deeply sad.
While Mr. Abdallah walked the hymn into the cathedral, little Leanna needed support during the three-hour triple funeral.
Early mass, when Leanna sagged aside and began to sob uncontrollably when her father put a soothing arm around her shoulder.
Leila Abdallah is holding a candle for her deceased daughter Sienna who died on February 1 together with her brother Antony and sister Angelina in a horrible car accident. Mrs. Abdallah is standing next to her daughter Leanna who survived the crash
Photos of Antony, Angelina and Sienna Abdallah are being held at their funeral on Monday morning. The three brothers and sisters were killed when allegedly drunk driver Samuel William Davidson plowed them into Oatlands on February 1
Abdallah comforts his daughter Leanna at the funeral of her brother Antony and sisters Angelina and Sienna on Monday. Leanna sat among her parents during the service and broke several times
Mrs. Abdallah gently brushed the hair off her daughter’s face and wiped the tears, then kissed her forehead as she smiled warmly in her eyes.
The grieving mother said last week that Leanna was still unable to sleep after losing one of her brothers and two sisters.
“Leanna feels miserable,” she said. “She cried all night because she lost three of her brothers and sisters. From walking with two brothers and sisters, now she is going to walk alone. “
Antony Abdallah (13) and his sisters Angelina (12) and Sienna (9) were killed when they were slaughtered on Saturday, February 1, by a reportedly drunk driver in Oatlands, in the north-west of Sydney.
The cousin of the children Veronique Sakr, 11, was also killed and Leanna suffered minor physical injuries.
Another family member of the Abdallah and Sakr families, Charbel Kassas, 11, is still fighting for life at Westmead Children’s Hospital. His sister Mabelle, 12, was released from the hospital last week.
Mrs. Abdallah is comforted at the funeral of her three children. Since their death, she has preached forgiveness for the driver accused of their manslaughter
A rosary made from blue and pink balloons is released into the air after the funeral for the three Abdallah children
Antony (far left), 13, Angelina (far right), 12 and Sienna Abdallah (front left), 9, died on Saturday evening in the horror accident. Danny and Leila Abdallah (back) say they have forgiven the driver of the car, Samuel William Davidson
The seven children walked on Bettington Road to buy ice creams when a 4WD powered by Samuel William Davidson ascended the sidewalk and plowed into the group.
Allegedly, Davidson recorded a blood alcohol level of 0.15 – three times the legal limit.
The 29-year-old truck driver is charged with 20 violations, including four counts of manslaughter.
Mrs. Abdallah said, despite the huge losses she and her husband have suffered for forgiving the man accused of killing three of their six children.
The Abdallahs have repeatedly spoken of love and forgiveness, rather than revenge or hatred.
The couple has regularly returned to the Bennington Road crash site, which has become a sanctuary, trying to understand the tragedy and respecting the nation for their dignity and calm.
There was no free seat in the Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral for the funeral of the three Abdallah children
On the sound of drums from King’s School students and a guard of honor, the coffins of the three Abdallah children are killed in a horrific car accident brought to their funeral service
Surviving daughter Leanna, pictured with a bandage on her face for her own injuries from the crash, arrived with the hand of her mother Leila.
The family had asked mourners to wear white for Monday’s service – which she described as a celebration of life – and many of the thousands who attended followed.
Abdallah and some other male family members wore a blue suit with a pink shirt to represent the dead girls and boy.
The workers of the building manager were among other things to wear white shirts while they locked their arms to form a guard of honor outside the cathedral. About 200 were expected and 360 showed up.
“Head and shoulders back,” a Rock Form employee ordered the workers as the three white hearse cars passed.
“No matter what race or religion, we are all one family now.”
Five brave boys from the King’s School drummed the hearse cars in the parking lot of the cathedral.
King’s School drummers led the procession while walking in front of the three white hearsees that carried the coffins
Leila Abdallah kisses a photo of her deceased daughter Sienna during the funeral on Monday morning
The Abdallah family came to the cathedral in three white Bentleys. The coffins and some candles that were placed on each coffin during the service were also white.
The rain that has plagued Sydney and much of the east coast for days stopped for the Maronite service conducted in English and Arabic.
Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s wife Jenny Morrison were among the dignitaries to pack the cathedral and sat side by side.
There was no extra seat in the round building and hundreds more mourners flocked out.
Students from the King’s School and Tara Anglican School for Girls in Parramatta participated, as did hundreds of members of the strong Maronite community and complete strangers who were affected by the loss of the Abdallah family.
Many mourners wore small insignia with the faces of the three children.
Mrs. Abdallah clapped when white pigeons and balloons in the shape of rosaries were released into the air
Danny Abdallah holds the hand of his wife Leila while saying goodbye to their three oldest children at a funeral on Monday
More than a dozen clergymen were involved in the service, and Monsignor Shora Maree delivered a homily, but there were no longer long personal hymns for the three children. The mass was about God and the power of love.
“Danny, you said Jesus is the rock of your family – your words,” said Monsignor speaking to the father of the dead children.
“Leila, you said the words of forgiveness that amazed the world. That does not come from something human, it comes from the divine. ”
Monsignor Shora said the community was left with asking difficult questions: why three children were taken so young and how one family could carry such a cross. Those answers could only come from Jesus Christ.
“One thing we know, God didn’t do this,” he said. “God allows it because it will bring his glory.”
Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay gave brief examples of the innate goodness and godliness of each child.
When Antony heard that his family had to move to a new house, his first question was the location of the prayer room. He posted on Instagram: “Give Jesus your weakness, he will give you his strength.”
Employees of Danny Abdallah’s Rock Form construction company connect the poor while guarding the funeral of their boss’s three children
Three hearse carriages lead a convoy of white cars involved in the procession when approaching the church
Sienna, when asked what she would like to do on her eighth birthday, said she wanted to help in a homeless shelter. Angelina’s teacher had said to her parents, “Your daughter, she takes care of everyone.”
The congregation was so large that Mr. and Mrs. Abdallah were unable to express personal condolences. Condolence books were placed on the doors instead.
The family had asked that mourners donate money to the poor, needy and homeless in Lebanon instead of flowers.
At the end of the service, the three coffins from the church were carried with framed photographs of Antony, Angelina and Sienna. Abdallah sang as he followed them.
White pigeons were released and a blue and pink rosary of balloons floated into the sky.
Students from the King’s School, where Antony Abdallah was present, comfort each other at the 13-year funeral in the Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral in Harris Park
Students from the Kings School in Parramatta, where Antony was a student in year 8, stood on a guard of honor while his coffin was taken from the church
Samuel Davidson, whose police claim he had drunk 13 hours before the accident, faces 25 years in prison for each of the three manslaughter cases. He is in protective custody for his next trial in April.
His father Allan, a former police officer who has lost a daughter to cancer, apologized to the families of the alleged victims of his son.
“We are no stranger to grief, we lost a daughter ten years ago, and now we have effectively lost a son,” he said.
Abdallah said that if something good would come from the death of his children, it would be that parents cherished every moment with their daughters and sons.
“The only thing I ask for is that dads are dads and moms are mothers,” said.
A service for Veronique Sakr is being held Tuesday in the chapel of Santa Sabina College at Strathfield.
White pigeons were released into the air, while mourning held up large framed photographs of the three Abdallah children
Antony’s classmates comforted each other as they watched his coffin be carried from the church
AN OPEN LETTER FROM DANIEL AND LEILA ABDALLAH
On Saturday, February 1, 2020 at around 7.30 p.m., our entire world collapsed with the senseless loss of three of our six children, Antony, Angelina and Sienna.
A fourth child was also killed – the daughter of our cousin Bridget Sakr, Veronique.
To encapsulate or express the heartbreaking pain and sorrow that we experience today, endless words of despair would be needed. This is an unimaginable tragedy; inscrutable beyond any description.
Our children are our reason for living. Educating them in accordance with the ways of God, teaching them to love, giving them every opportunity and cherishing them until positive and influential young men and women was and is the goal of our lives.
What is life without your children? How and where do we begin to pick up the pieces so that we can be effective parents for our three remaining angels?
We start with forgiveness.
We forgive the driver who killed our innocent children. His actions will be met before the earthly and heavenly judge. We have decided in our hearts to forgive him – for our sake, for our children’s sake, and even more so for Christ’s sake.
Our faith in Jesus Christ remains the foundation of our family and we believe that it will continue to help us through this difficult time.
Each passing day is a day closer to the day we are reunited with our angels. We will look at this moment; not backwards with yesterday’s pain.
As we have tried to understand last week, this devastating event has also shocked the world. It is our hope that through this everyone will know that regardless of the pain or despair, God will be a protection through this dark valley.
He is in control and eternity is in the palm of His divine hand. Our life here on earth is only a vapor compared to His eternal plans and the purpose that God has for His children.
We want to thank our family, our friends, our community and so many others from Australia and around the world for the overwhelming support we have received.
We have been humiliated and strengthened by the outpouring of love from all of you.
Please continue to accompany us in prayer at this time, this is a very heavy cross that we have been chosen to bear, but it is through God’s love that we continue.
May the peace of God through Jesus Christ be with us all,
Daniel and Leila Abdallah.
Mr. and Mrs. Abdallah have been regular visitors to the horror accident site and participated in prayer sessions with family, friends, and strangers