A Thanksgiving weekend crash that killed two women also forever ripped apart the lives of their family members and close friends, court heard yesterday.

Best friends, driver Cynthia Dougherty, 49, of Beeton, and passenger Mariarosa (Mar) Dalsass, 44, of Palgrave, died instantly in the multi-car crash on Highway 50 in Caledon on Oct. 6, 2007.

The women’s husbands, fighting back tears, each explained to a Brampton court how the deaths of their wives, who are buried side by side, have affected their families.

The tragedy even touched Dalsass’ neighbour’s dog, a Jack Russell terrier named Miller, who still waits by the backyard gate for “Mar” to come home.

Steven Machado, 25, of Mississauga, pleaded guilty on July 28 to two counts of criminal negligence causing their deaths.

His brother, Brian Machado, 29, has yet to stand trial for his alleged role in the seven-car noon hour pile-up that ripped apart Dougherty’s 1995 Grand-Am.

Loved ones described how Thanksgiving has become a day of sorrow instead of celebration, and how neither woman will celebrate future weddings, go on holidays or attend joyful family and friend functions.