Images have surfaced online of a father embracing the man charged with killing his son in a drunk-driving accident in Australia on Christmas Day.
Josiah Sisson, 9, was looking at Christmas lights with friends on the evening of Dec. 25 when he was struck by an out-of-control vehicle, which then careened off the road and into a house. Josiah succumbed to his injuries two days later.
Police have charged the car's driver, 24-year-old Adrian Murray, with Josiah's death. Specifically, Murray is charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death while under the influence of an intoxicating substance, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
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After being granted bail, Murray attended a church service where he met Josiah's father, Pastor Karl Sisson. There the two men embraced, and Karl reportedly offered Murray his forgiveness.
"What happened … at the end of the service was that the driver along with his friends and some family turned around and saw the father of Josiah," church pastor Peter Field told the Courier Mail.
"He collapsed into Karl's arms and [Karl] was brave enough and manly enough to catch him and treat him courteously," Field said. "As you could imagine, it was a very emotional time for everyone there."
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Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Field admitted that he was strongly affected by the experience.
"We all like to talk about philosophical things, but when you really are faced with that in reality, I think it is extremely powerful and extremely challenging," he said. "This has definitely been a test of what we preach and what we believe."
Field explained that Josiah's parents are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of their son.
"Rollercoaster would be the correct answer, especially the poor boy's mother, it'll be a long time working this through," he said. "I did spend some time with them yesterday and they were a little better spirited, but I think by last night they crashed again and this is going to take some time."
Funeral services for Josiah will be held during the first week of 2017. Murray is due to appear in court Feb. 14.