The father of the 11-year-old girl killed in the Oatlands crash tragedy has sadly died after battling cancer for more than a year.
Bob Sakr, 53, died on Saturday, Danny Abdullah confirmed the devastating news to Daily Mail Australia on Thursday.
Mr Sakr’s daughter Veronique was killed along with Mr Abdullah’s children Sienna, eight, Angelina, 12, and Anthony, 13, when they were hit by a drunk and drug-addled driver whose ute mounted the pavement while on their way to buy ice cream on February 1, 2020. .
Driver Samuel William Davidson was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the four deaths in a case that shocked and mourned the nation.
Mr Saker’s devout Maronite Catholic family said although his loved ones were struggling with the loss, they were comforted that he would now be ‘reunited’ with his beloved daughter.
‘This moment is a celebration for Véronique Sacre, to celebrate her father’s arrival in heaven, to welcome her father to the kingdom of heaven, where happiness and joy never end!’ Family Dr.
Bob Saker (pictured centre) Oatlands crash victim Veronique Saker (pictured right) dies aged 53
Mr. Sakor’s older brother, Norman Sakor, said the family was still processing his loss.
‘I’m speechless at the moment,’ Norman told Daily Mail Australia.
‘He was my younger brother and he and I were very close. Right now we are tired and we are grieving.’
Another elder brother, David, also paid heartfelt tributes.
He wrote, ‘Today was one of the saddest days of my life.
‘We laid my younger brother Bob to rest. You will live forever in our hearts.
‘You are now reunited with your baby girl Veronique and mum and dad.’
Mr Sakor was seen kissing his daughter’s coffin at her funeral at Sydney’s Santa Sabina College Chapel.
Abdullah’s children Anthony, 13, Angelina, 12, Sienna, eight, and their niece Veronique Sakr, 11, died instantly in the crash.
The Australian Baslokit Association, named after a village in Lebanon, said Mr Sakr’s funeral was held on Wednesday at the Maroon Cathedral Church in Redfern.
In June, Mr Sakr revealed that he had spent a year battling cancer ‘going into attack mode’ and that doctors had told him he had about two weeks to live.
‘I haven’t booked my ticket, and I’m in no rush, but I’m preparing for what’s next,’ he said.
‘I’m not one to say goodbye, but prefer to say, ‘see you next time’ instead.’
Mr Sakr told SBS in February 2021 that he relives the horrific events surrounding Veronique’s loss every day.
He said, ‘When someone has a heart attack, the heart muscle never repairs itself, which is what happened to me.’
Mr Sakr revealed in June that he had been given just weeks to live after a year-long battle with cancer
He was not allowed to see the scene of the accident as forensic officers conducted their investigation.
‘I haven’t been able to see Veronique and it hurts my heart.
‘I don’t know if I wanted to realize she was gone because I didn’t want to believe she was gone. I let him down. How will he go?’
Mr Sakor said telling Veronique’s brother Michael what had happened to his sister was ‘a difficult moment’ in his life.
‘ I went to him. I hugged him. I told him ‘listen’. He asked, ‘Where is he?’ I said ‘Michael relax, calm down’. I was trying to slow him down.
“I told him, ‘Habibi, Michael, Veronique are gone. He is dead. He’s gone’. And he said, ‘No, no, how do I do it, father?’ He said, ‘How can I spend the rest of my life without him?’
Even in this desolation, Mr. Sakr followed the orders of his faith to pardon Davidson, who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter and a litany of other driving offenses.
Witnesses saw Davison speed through a red light, turn counter-clockwise and hit a top speed of 133 km/h in a 50 km/h zone before the crash.
Danny and Leila Abdullah (pictured with their family before the accident) reached out to forgive the driver who killed their four children.
Davison’s four-wheel drive mounted the curb and plowed into the group of seven children, killing four instantly.
‘Forgiveness is very important because first of all there is no point in being a Christian or living the life of Christ or sending your children to a Catholic or Christian school if you are not following in the footsteps of Christ,’ Mr Saker said.
‘Forgiveness enables you to move on with life, with your children and your family, without anger and hatred.
‘I pray for the driver that he really meets God one day and finds him. It helps me not to get angry because anger is contagious.’
Davidson was initially sentenced to 28 years in prison with a non-parole period of 21 years, but was re-sentenced in 2022 to 20 years in prison with a non-parole period of 17 years, considering his original sentence clearly excessive.
Mr Sakr’s wife Bridget said at the time that the reduced sentence was ‘unfair’.
‘We have always said forgiveness and justice are two different things,’ he said.
‘Apparently it was a crushing sentence, but it crushed our children.’
Samuel William Davidson (pictured right) is serving a 20-year sentence for killing four children
It was revealed this week that Davidson experienced a prison conversion to Christianity.
In a Christian Lives Matter podcast this week, Mr Abdullah said two men in prison had contacted his spiritual adviser, Father Robert Pierre, and claimed Davidson wanted to meet him and his wife Leila.
Mr Abdullah added the inmates did not know Father Robert was his spiritual adviser, whom he 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 [Father Robert] Goes ‘I know Abdullah’s parents, I visit them regularly and I talk to them, they come to my church.
‘(Now he [Davidson] He prays the rosary three times a day, he goes to mass, he studies the Bible and he wants to be a Maronite Catholic.’
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.
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] He said, ‘You know, the whole world should have hated me, but because of Danny and Leela’s forgiveness, I was able to see life differently.
‘He [Father Robert] He said [Davidson] How sorry he is and you know what he did was wrong but that changed my heart.
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