MANDEL: Tears, anguish in case of driver who killed mom, her kids

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The horrific sight of four white coffins, three that should never be that small.

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A beloved daughter, sister, and friend gone. Her three beautiful little girls, gone. All stolen in an instant by a dangerous young driver in a senseless, selfish tragedy.

Now, the least Brady Robertson can do is sit head bowed in a Brampton courtroom and listen to an endless wave of gut-wrenching anguish as family and friends describe how his running a red light on that sunny June day in 2020 shattered so many lives that will never be the same.

That hot morning, Karolina Ciasullo had taken Klara, 6, Liliana, 3 and Mila, 1, over to her parents in Brampton and was now heading home to Caledon — the girls still in their bathing suits — so the baby could nap in her own crib.

Lilianna and Kazimierz Lugiewicz told their daughter to call when she got home. But she never did.

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Thirty minutes passed. Then an hour. “And we couldn’t get a hold of her,” her mom recalled.

Eventually, the worried parents decided to retrace their daughter’s typical route home. As they approached Torbram Rd., they saw a horrific crash scene. “Our hearts stopped. We got out of the car and prayed, ‘Please God, please God, don’t let it be them.’ But God didn’t answer our prayers.

“In the distance, we saw her car. We couldn’t breathe. And sure enough, a police officer confirmed it was them.”

Mike Ciasullo couldn’t get hold of his wife. It wasn’t like her not to answer his calls.

Chris Cimicata, his best friend of 30 years, agreed to go with him to Brampton. His brother checked the local hospitals. Brampton Civic said they had a mother and two daughters — but someone would have to identify them.

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Just three hours earlier, Cimicata had witnessed his friend laughing with his wife and Lily on a video call. “I knew I wanted Mike to have that final memory of them and not the one that was in front of us,” he recalled in his victim impact statement.

As he walked the long 20 steps to where the bodies were being kept, he kept thinking it can’t possibly be them. “And then I had to come the 20 steps back to Mike to tell him that it was.”

And where was Mila?

They rushed down to Sick Kids where, they prayed, at least one of his angels was still alive. “God can’t take them all. It’s not fair,” Cimicata recalled thinking.

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But he was wrong.

“After the tortuous drive, we found out they were keeping her on life support, so Mike could say goodbye.”

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Robertson, 21, was travelling more than 130 km/h in a 70 km/h zone when he ran a red and T-boned the Ciasullo’s SUV. He pleaded guilty to four counts of dangerous driving causing death but not guilty to impaired driving causing death, arguing the current THC limit is unconstitutional. A decision on his Charter challenge is expected next year.

Whatever the judge rules, it won’t ease the suffering of Anna Martin, who can’t face living without the sister she calls her best friend and soul mate.

Martin always thought she could protect her younger sister. “But I couldn’t protect her that day. If only I was with her at her last moment, to hold her head, to hold her in my arms, or to stroke her hair,” she wept.

“I wish I was there to hold the girls in my arms, to cuddle them, to hug them, kiss them, whisper ‘I love you, everything will be OK’ in their ear, to smell their necks one last time, to snuggle them.”

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How can they all be gone? Martin asked. How is she supposed to go on?

“This was no accident,” she said fiercely. “That kind of reckless driving was a choice.”

Klara was the little mommy of the family; Lily, the spitfire and Milly, their tiny dancer. Karolina, a popular Catholic school teacher, was the warm, funny, optimistic best friend to countless women now left paralyzed by her death.

  1. A group of ladies grieve at the crash scene memorial paying tribute for Karolina Ciasullo and her family Karla 6, Lilianna 3 and Mila 1 who were killed in a horrific crash at Torbram Rd. and Countryside Dr. in Brampton. It is the one-year anniversary since their deaths. The accused Brady Robertson, aged 20, will be in court on July 12 to start his trial on Friday June 18, 2021. Jack Boland/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

    One year since four lives lost in horrific Brampton crash

  2. Michael Ciasullo (L) watches as the casket of his daughter Lilianna is led into St. Eugene De Mazenod Catholic Church in Brampton. His wife Karolina and their three daughters Klara, Mila and Lilianna who were killed last Thursday arrive at the church for the funeral service.

    ‘LOVE FIERCELY’: Ciasullo family says goodbye to Brampton crash victims

  3. A GoFundMe for Karolina Ciasullo and husband Michael and their three daughters, Klara, 6, Lilianna, 4, and Mila, 1, has been launched and has surpassed over $357,000 as of Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. The family was travelling in a Volkswagen Atlas SUV that was struck by a blue Infiniti in Brampton on June 18. The mother and her children all died from their injuries. KAROLINA CIASULLO/FACEBOOK

    WIFE WAS ‘SUPERHERO’: Devoted husband who lost family in Brampton crash

  4. Jillian McLeod (R), from Justice 4 Families, and her friend, Beata Cioncka (L), wear pink commemorative tuques on the five-month anniversary of the fatal-collision deaths of Karolina Ciasullo and her little daughters Klara, 6, Lilianna, 3 and Mila.

    Women mark 5 months since mom, 3 kids lost to crash

“Right now they should be getting ready for Christmas,” said friend Jessica DiPasquale through her tears. “This year it’s not going to happen because one man got into his car and drove like a maniac.”

More of the 74 filed victim impact statements will be heard Tuesday.

mmandel@postmedia.com

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