Families of children killed at Oatlands establish road safety charity
“She told her mum that she would look after her when she got old,” Monsignor Shora Maree told the mourners during the two-and-a-half hour service.
Amazing Grace was sung as a guard of honour of students lined the driveway and street, and two white doves were released to cheers as the funeral ended.
Veronique was killed alongside her three cousins Antony, 12, Angelina, 11, and Sienna, 9, Abdallah when an alleged drunk driver mounted the kerb of Oatlands’ Bettington Road and hit a group of seven children walking along the path 10 days ago.
She and the three Abdallah children died at the scene, which Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy described as one of the “most tragic” accidents he had seen.
The tragedy was not caused by God, Monsignor Maree said, but “[alleged] misuse of a substance, abuse of technology, speeding – that’s what caused this.”
Three other children, also related to the family, were taken to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead where an 11-year-old boy remains in an induced coma.
Police say the driver Samuel Davidson, 29, had allegedly been drinking all day before he and a friend drove to a nearby service station around 8pm.
“We intend to establish a charitable foundation to honour the memories of Veronique, Antony, Angelina and Sienna, for the purpose of improving road safety programs and initiatives across Australia,” the families said.
In a statement, the families remembered Veronique as “affectionate” with an infectious personality.
“Her thoughtful and considered contributions to our conversations often meant we had to remind ourselves we were speaking with a child; such was the delight and value of her wisdom”.