Four children were killed in a drink driving accident in the Sydney suburb of Oatlands on Feb. 2, according to News.com.au. The deceased children include three sisters and their cousin, ranging in age from 8 to 13. Three other children were also injured in the accident but are in stable condition in the hospital.
The accident occurred during the night. The children were on a public footpath next to a road, when the driver took his vehicle over the curb and hit them. Medical attention and police soon after arrived at the scene and the driver was taken into custody. Police report that the arrested motorist had an alcohol level of .15, more than three times the legal limit, on his breathalyser test.
The father of three of the deceased children described himself as “numb” when speaking to the press, and urged people to drive safely to avoid similar tragedies.
“All I just want to say is, please, drivers be careful,” he said. “These kids were just walking innocently, enjoying each others’ company and this morning I woke up, I have just lost three kids.”
The responsible driver is facing 20 charges, including four counts of manslaughter and high-range drunk driving. Following his arrest, he did not apply for bail, though bail was later formally refused by a magistrate. He is due in Parramatta Local Court in April 2020.
Drink driving remains a major problem in Australia and around the world. According to the Centre for Road Safety, drink driving is a factor in about one in seven automobile accidents in New South Wales. Police perform about 5 million breath tests on motorists in the state each year.
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