The Abdullah family who lost three of their children and a cousin in the Oatlands tragedy three years ago have launched a civil suit against the killer driver Samuel William Davidson.
The legal action, which is believed to involve Davidson’s insurance policy, seeks payments for ongoing trauma to the family and children who were injured but survived the catastrophic accident. It is listed in the NSW District Court next week.
The parents of Abdullah’s children, Danny and Leila, have publicly forgiven Davidson and revealed this week that they had met his parents ‘who are suffering a lot’.
Anthony, 13, Angelina, 12, Sienna, eight, and their niece Veronique Sakor, 11, were walking along the sidewalk to buy ice cream in Oatlands, west of Sydney, when they were hit by a car and killed on February 1, 2020.
The Abdullah family claimed their three children before the accident. The civil action is listed in court next week
Samuel Davison is serving a 20-year sentence after plowing his car into a group of seven children – killing four instantly – while driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Davidson was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, driving erratically and at a high rate of speed when fatally injuring the four children.
The group Davidson jumped into included three other children, all suffering from injuries and trauma.
Then 29, Davidson was sentenced to 28 years in 2021 with a non-parole period of 21 years, which was reduced to a minimum of 15 years with a maximum of 20 years on appeal this year.
Danny Abdullah told Daily Mail Australia the court matter was ‘confidential’ and related to ongoing therapy and trauma, but he did not want to comment further.
Earlier this week, Mr Abdullah revealed the driver who killed his children was becoming a Maronite Catholic in prison because of the pardon the family had shown.
In a Christian Lives Matter podcast, Mr. Abdullah said Charlie Bakhos, the broadcaster of the jailhouse that Davidson converted, stands for truth.
Mr Abdullah, whose family is himself Maronite Catholic, explained that two men in prison had contacted his spiritual adviser, Father Robert-Pio, and claimed that Davidson wanted to meet him.
‘Leela and I talk to him [Fr Robert] A lot,’ said Abdullah.
‘[He] A good guy and feeds the homeless… And there was a homeless guy that he fed that ended up in jail and he said to him, “I have a guy that wants to meet you.”
‘There was another man who called him and said, “Look, Father Robert, I’ve got a driver who ran over the Abdullah children in my cell.”
Mr Abdullah added the inmates did not know that Robert was his spiritual adviser, whom he had turned to after the tragic deaths of his children.
‘Of all the priests in Australia, this man is talking to my spiritual father, Father Robert, yes, and he doesn’t know it,’ Mr Abdullah said.
‘Well, he is [Fr Robert] Goes, “I know Abdullah’s parents, I visit them regularly and I talk to them, they come to my church.”
‘[Now] he [Davidson] Praying the rosary three times a day, he goes to mass, he’s studying the Bible and he wants to be a Maronite Catholic.’
Mr Abdullah said he was shocked by Davidson’s change of heart – but said it was because of the forgiveness his family had shown.
Mr Abdullah (right) speaking to Christian Lives founder Charlie Bakhos (left) on his ‘Stand for Truth’ podcast, revealed that Samuel Davison had had a ‘change of heart’.
Mr Abdullah said he was ‘shocked’ by Davidson’s change of heart and was told it was because of the forgiveness he and his wife Lila had shown.
‘I was grieving. I honestly didn’t expect that Father Robert went to him and talked to him and he made his first confession,’ Mr Abdullah said.
‘They spoke and he [Davidson] Said, “You know, the whole world should have hated me, but because of Danny and Leela’s forgiveness, I’ve been able to see life differently.”
‘He [Father Robert] He said [Davidson] How sorry he is and you know what he did was wrong but this is what changed my heart.’
A brave Mrs Abdullah returned to the scene two days after the horrific accident, where she held hands and prayed a rosary with loved ones before famously forgiving Davidson for his actions.
‘The man [driver]… I can’t hate him right now. I don’t want to see him, but I don’t hate him,’ he told reporters.
‘I think in my heart I will forgive him, but I want the court to be fair… I will not hate him, because we are not like that’.
The couple later set up the i4give Foundation – which coincided with the anniversary of the crash – to remember their lost loved ones and help others in similar situations.
Abdullah’s children Anthony, 13, Angelina, 12, Sienna, eight, and their niece Veronique Sakr, 11, died instantly in the crash.
Witnesses saw Davison speeding through a red light, turning counter-clockwise and driving at a top speed of 133 km/h in a 50 km/h zone before the crash.
The Christ-centred foundation aims to engage communities across Australia in ‘a shared embrace of the universal good of forgiveness’.
In June 2022, Danny and Leila received two standing ovations at the Vatican after giving a powerful speech about forgiveness.
Western Sydney parents were invited by the Pope to share their harrowing stories with thousands of parishioners at the 2022 World Meeting of Families in Rome.
Mr Abdullah also told Mr Bakhos that he and his wife had spoken to Davison’s parents and discussed the incident over breakfast.
‘I was nervous, it was hard for all of us and hard for them too but you know… we learned from this that there are no winners in this tragedy,’ Mr Abdullah said.
‘Samuel Davidson’s got a mother who is grieving and going through her pain. We wanted to understand and show them that we were hurting and that they apologized for their son’s actions.
‘I know they lost their daughter to cancer and then a few years later they lost their son now in prison and they have no one.
‘They know what we are going through and they acknowledge it and we acknowledge their grief and pain.’
Despite losing three children, Mrs Abdullah, 37, when asked how many children she has, always says seven – ‘three in heaven and four here’.
Danny and Leila Abdullah forgave Davison and started i4give Day and the Foundation – which coincides with the anniversary of the crash – to remember their lost loved ones and help others in similar situations.