Crash survivor ‘thought she would die’ next to three dead friends

The mother of a car crash survivor has said her daughter lay in the wreckage for almost two days wondering if help would ever come. Sophie Russon, 20, and her pal Shane Loughlin, 32, are fighting for their lives after the smash on the A48 in Cardiff. Their three friends, Darcy Ross and Eve Smith, both 21, and Rafel Jeanne, 24, died in the crash.

Gwent Police and South Wales Police face questions as to how the group went undiscovered for 46 hours.

The white Volkswagen Tiguan the group were in was found by the emergency services at 12.15am on Monday, according to South Wales Police.

Sophie’s mum, Anna Cerowicz, claimed police failed to respond adequately when the group of friends did not arrive home after a night out in the Welsh capital on Friday night.

Ms Cerowicz, 42, told The Sun: “She was lying there wondering if help would ever arrive. She must have thought she was going to die.”

She added: “She was calling out at times but no one could hear her.

“It would have got light and then dark as night fell on Saturday, then she had to go through that again until she was found.”

Ms Cerowicz added: “She had head injuries so she may not have really known what was going on — at least I hope she didn’t.”

Sophie was unable to use her phone, semi-conscious and with a broken neck and spine, the same publication reports.


A Gwent Police spokeswoman said: “We understand how distressing it is when a loved one goes missing. We are aware of media reports regarding this, and we will be liaising closely with the families involved to find out more information and address any concerns of this nature.”

A friend of the three girls claimed it was members of the public searching who found them and not the police.

Referrals have been made by Gwent Police and South Wales Police to the watchdog, Independent Office for Police Conduct, in what they say is in line with normal procedure.

Tamzin Samuels, 20, speaking from the scene of the crash, said: “I do think the police could have done a lot more in putting the helicopters out earlier.

“They only posted the appeal an hour before the girls were found. We found them before the police found them – we rang the police.”

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Ms Samuels added: “The search party found the girls before the police found the girls.

“I think that speaks volumes really, they had all that equipment, and we had cars when we were looking.

“They were really popular girls, the life of the party, and it was really out of character for them to do what they did, which is why we knew something was wrong.”

Eve, Darcy and Sophie had driven to the Maesglas sports and social club in Newport at about 11pm on Friday where they are believed to have met Shane and Rafel.

The group then travelled 36 miles in the Tiguan to Trecco Bay caravan park in Porthcawl.

It is believed the group drove to Cardiff, dropping off an unnamed man before driving off.

Their car was last spotted on CCTV in the city at about 2am.

The VW Tiguan crashed on the A48 in the St Mellons area between Cardiff and Newport.

It is understood the car belonged to Rafel, the son of former Cardiff City and QPR footballer, Leon Jeanne.

Tributes have been paid to Darcy, Eve and Rafel on social media by heartbroken family and friends.

Eve’s sister wrote on Facebook: “My beautiful little sister I’ve cried laughed and fought with you every week, but I’ve never been without you,” she said.

“We always said, ‘I got you always’ but now I’m sat here feeling so empty because you’re not here with me anymore, and I can’t accept this.

“I know you’re safe up with there with our beautiful sister Xana but I was never ready to let you go, my body is aching without you.”

A friend of Eve and Darcy’s said: “I don’t really have the words right now. Darcy Ross I’m going to miss you little gypsy girl. You were one of a kind, I’m going to miss trying to ‘life coach’ you as you would’ve said. You were a real ray of sunshine especially on my bad days.

“Eve Smith you were truly a beautiful young girl, who’s heart was made of gold just like your sister’s, give her a big hug for me and hold each other tight until the day we all have our turn and reunite.”

A friend of Shane’s posted: “I’m so proud of us all pulling together out there searching for our dear friends last night.

“It’s heart breaking what’s happened to Rafel Jeanne and those two girls. My body is still shaking and I can’t stop being sick the thought of them all there all of that time.

“Many times I have driven past, it just makes me so sad and to how helpless our Shane Loughlin must of felt trapped inside.

“Wish Sophie a speedy recovery and I send all my love and strength to all the families involved.”

People have also started arriving to leave floral tributes to those who died.

One wrote: “Fly high. You’re in a better place now. This was a last thing we expected. I know you’re still partying up there. Have one for me LOL.”

Another said: “RIP Darcy.”

And second a tribute left by the same person said: “RIP Eve.”

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