NEWS
03/31/2016 11:20 EDT | Updated 04/01/2017 01:12 EDT

Marco Muzzo park renamed to avoid association with drunk drive: councillor

TORONTO — Officials are tweaking the name of a Toronto-area park to avoid any association with a drunk driver who killed four people in a horrific crash last year.

Marco Muzzo Memorial Woods in Mississauga, Ont., was named after the late developer Marco Muzzo Sr., whose grandson was sentenced this week to 10 years in prison over the September collision.

Mississauga Coun. Sue McFadden says dozens of people contacted her after the crash to voice their outrage over the park's name, not knowing it was a tribute to the grandfather.

McFadden, whose ward includes the two-hectare park, says she waited until the younger Muzzo was sentenced before introducing a motion to rename the park Marco Muzzo Sr. Memorial Woods.

She says the motion passed unanimously Wednesday.

A sign bearing the new name is expected to be ready for installation next week.

"My job is to listen to the community and I want the message to go out we don't condone that kind of behaviour," McFadden said in a phone interview Thursday.

"(Muzzo) made a decision and the decision was to get in his car when he was drinking and he killed four people and under no circumstances do I want children or families to think that park was named in any way after him."

The councillor said she has tremendous respect for Marco Muzzo Sr., an influential developer whose work helped shape the city.

"I think Marco Muzzo (Sr.) was a wonderful man, he deserves the park, he donated it when he built the community," she said.

"Under no circumstances did I want him to pay the price for what his grandson did and I wanted his reputation and his legacy to continue without a black cloud."

The crash that killed nine-year-old Daniel Neville-Lake, his five-year-old brother Harrison, their two-year-old sister Milly and the children's 65-year-old grandfather, Gary Neville, shocked many Canadians and prompted an outpouring of support for the victims' family.  

The younger Muzzo, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to four counts of impaired driving causing death and two of impaired driving causing bodily harm, will serve nine years and four months after credit for time served.

He could be eligible for parole after a third of his sentence, and for day parole six months before then.

He also faces a 12-year driving ban, which will take effect on his release from custody.

 

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press