News

Family reveals impact of crash that killed dad and kids

THE family of a dad and two children killed in a car crash at Dyraaba last year have read heartbreaking victim impact statements before the court.

Kyogle man Malcolm Joseph Harris, 36, appeared before Magistrate L.Wells on Thursday for sentencing, charged with three counts of dangerous driving occasioning death while under the influence and another charge of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm while under the influence.

He was under the influence of several drugs when Shaun Zagar, 28, and his children, six-year-old Kaleb and five-year-old Zara, were killed while waiting for a school bus after Harris crashed into their car on June 4, 2013.

Kira Newbold, the mother of Kaleb and Zara, bravely stood in the witness box and, through tears, explained how the crash had "shattered" her.

"I don't know how to write this. How do you put into words how you've lost two children?," she said.

"Having them gone has shattered me... all because of one stupid act.

"They hadn't even lost any teeth yet. Next thing I know I get a call saying they're all dead.

"I'm alone in my pain; it's only me. I have my family, but no one to cuddle at the end of the day.

"The hardest thing I've had to do is wake up and smile...all I want is to do something to make them proud of me."

The court heard Ms Newbold and Mr Zagar's surviving son Jett was not in the car at the time of the crash, but was badly affected by the loss of his dad and siblings.

Andrew Zagar, the father of Shaun Zagar, said he and his wife Julie dearly missed their son and grandchildren.

"Love and admiration poured from Shaun's heart for his little Za-za," he said.

"Kaleb was a very bright boy; a day away from being seven. We adored him.

"Kaleb was a nanny's boy. Julie's heart is broken. She misses her KD (Kaleb) and often she will cry in silence alone."

Mr Zagar said he often had nightmares about the crash in which he hears the screams of his grandchildren, but despairs as he is powerless to save them.

He also spoke of the outpouring of grief that spread through Casino Public School and surrounding communities following the crash.

The family condemned Harris for his actions and said they hoped their situation would raise awareness about road safety.

Andrew Zagar also delivered touching victim impact statements on behalf of his wife and daughters Shannon and Michelle.

The sentencing hearing was adjourned until August at Lismore District Court.

Topics:  dyraaba fatal



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