The husband has forgiven the man because of whom he lost his sister, wife, and his unborn twins. He says he would like to meet the driver after his jail term.
Two years ago, the carelessness and drunk driving of a man claimed the lives of two young women and left one gravely injured. In an emotional turn of events, it was found that one of the women was expecting twins and the babies could never see the day of light.
In the hearing where the drunk driver's sentence was decided, it was revealed that the accident happened just a week before the mum, Katherine Hoang was due. During the horrific crash at Orchard Hills, the soon-to-be mum, 23, was in the back seat when a highly intoxicated Richard Moananu slammed into the vehicle.
Pregnant newlywed killed in horror crash at Orchard Hills— realworldnews.net (@RealworldnewsN) September 29, 2018
Married in May this year and expecting twins, Katherine and Bronco Hoang's lives were just beginning when a car smashed into...https://t.co/dwpDIUg5bw pic.twitter.com/ZZYdzPsot3
Katherine’s 17-year-old sister-in-law, Belinda Hoang, was the one driving the car and did not survive the impact. The 23-year-old's husband Bronko Hoang was placed in an induced coma since he suffered critical injuries. When he woke up, he couldn't believe that one night had turned his life upside down.
“We are surrounded by the haunting memories of what happened,” he said, as reported by The Sun. He continued, "My body is full of scars. It is my constant reminder of my previous life and what I could have had.”
Richard, 31, had been drinking from 10 am to 6.45 pm on the day of the incident (September 28, 2018) and gambling before he got behind the wheels, reported The Sydney Morning Herald. Witnesses had seen him speeding and driving in and out of traffic. One of them described him as "traveling at a ridiculous speed, caning it, he was flying".
On Thursday, November 5, NSW District Court Judge Mark Buscombe offered his condolences to the family and said that the tragic incident was "impossible to fully comprehend." He stressed the "devastating impact" the loss of two women and the unborn twins had on the family.
He said, "The emotional pain and loss they have suffered is severe and continuing. Their lives have been changed forever," and added, "Two young lives were lost as a result of the offender’s disgraceful and appalling conduct."
Katherine's mother, Perfecta Gordon, still cannot fathom the grief of her daughter's loss and her unborn twin sons after two years. She said that she loved looking at babies but now has to look away as it reminds of the grandsons she would've had, reported Western Weekender.
Two years ago, hospital worker Kaylene Tanti told Bronko Hoang the unfathomable news his sister, wife and unborn twins didn’t survive a horrendous car crash. Now the pair has been reunited. https://t.co/RDxMVHN39K— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) November 2, 2020
“I keep picturing what the babies would look like now,” she said and added that the boys had been christened Roman and Archer. If they were alive today, they would have turned two on October 11. “We lost four lives. I should be a grandmother watching them grow and spending time with them,” she added.
Perfecta further said that every time she puts on her seatbelt she can't help but be reminded of the fate her daughter. “Kate and the babies suffered.” She continued, "I can see the life that was in front of her. I can see she would have made a good mum and a good wife. I feel cheated that she was taken away so soon."
Richard reportedly broke down when the police interrogated him the day after the incident and confessed to everything he had done. He asked the officers to tell the Hoang and Gordon family that he's "sorry for what I've done".
He also pleaded guilty to two charges of manslaughter and one charge of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm. The judge sentenced him to 15 years behind the bars with a non-parole period of 10 years.
26-year-old Bronko said that even though Richard had got what he deserved, he too was being punished and haunted by the day his loved ones died. “You decided to play judge, jury, and executioner…," he said, and added, "You chose to play God,” referring to Richard's decision of drinking and driving that day.
A widower has shown extraordinary compassion to the drunk driver who killed his wife and unborn twins. Bronko Hoang was injured in the Orchard Hills crash that also claimed the life of his younger sister. https://t.co/yRs17kCbec @Andrew_Denney #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/HvPFcS0P8Q— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) October 8, 2020
Even after everything he'd suffered, Bronko forgives Richard. ABC News reported him saying, "I don't hate Richard. He didn't wake up in the morning and say, 'I want to destroy the Hoang family'. He is a human being at the end of the day." He added, "We're all human, we all make mistakes."
However, he added that he would never get to live the dreams he knitted with Katherine and his unborn sons even if he does get married later on or become a father. Richard stole from him the right to “be a brother to a sister again” or have the “experience of holding my newborn twins”. He added, “Please, after your time is served, please don’t make the same mistakes."
Richard will be eligible for parole only in September 2028 with time served.