Heartbroken sister of car crash victim ‘disappointed’ by police

The sister of one of the three people who died in a car crash in Cardiff has said she feels “disappointed” the police did not act sooner. Eve Smith, 21, Darcy Ross, 21, and Rafel Jeanne, 24, died in the collision, while Sophie Russon, 20, and Shane Loughlin, 32, are still in a critical condition after the Volkswagen Tiguan they were in left the A48(M) in Cardiff and hit trees in the St Mellons area of the city.

A vigil was held at the crash site on Tuesday where about 1,000 people gathered to pay their respects with some riding mopeds, motorbikes and quad bikes around a roundabout near the scene on the A48(M).

Mr Jeanne’s sister, Ffion Actie , told Sky News she feels “disappointed that maybe things weren’t done sooner” and police “should have acted straightaway”.

She said: “I heard the girls’ mums had contacted (the police) but it had taken several hours (to respond).

“I feel they should have acted straight away.”

Ms Actie added: “That is probably the worst part about it – thinking that they were sat there injured. If it was sooner who knows?”

She continued: “I like to think that if (police) got there sooner, it would have been a different outcome.”

Asked what her brother was like, she described him as a “big character” who was “happy, loving, bubbly and very, very popular”.

She also disclosed that she found out about her brother’s death through social media.

Ms Actie said she felt “heartbroken” and “numb” over the loss of her sibling.


Rachel O’Neill, 37, from Rumney, attended the vigil with her daughter Molly.

She said: “It’s been heartbreaking to think that they were there for so long, for 46 hours, and that they were found by people and not even the police.

“It’s absolutely disgusting, and you just don’t know. There could have been some lives saved if they had moved faster.”

They said they knew Mr Jeanne and Mr Loughlin, and Molly O’Neill added she was friends with Mr Jeanne’s sister.

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Another woman at the vigil, who did not want to be named, said there is “a feeling of anger” among mourners.

The woman, from Llanrumney, said: “There’s a sense that if we had left it to the police and the public had done nothing, that they’d probably still be in that car in there. It’s just sad the police didn’t think they were a priority and thought they were partying.”

In its latest statement, South Wales Police (SWP) said the last confirmed sighting of the group was in Pentwyn at 2am on Saturday.

The collision happened in the early hours of Saturday (March 4) though the exact time has yet to be confirmed.

SWP said the first missing person report was made to Gwent Police at 7.34pm on Saturday with further reports made to the same force at 7.43pm and 9.32pm the same day.

Another missing person report was made to SWP at 5.37pm on Sunday.

The force’s statement added that a police helicopter was requested to search an area of Cardiff at 11.50pm on Sunday.

That resulted in a vehicle being found in a wooded area off the A48.

SWP said officers from Gwent Police had sight of the VW Tiguan a couple of minutes after midnight on Monday with a log being created at 12.15am by South Wales Police.

The statement continued that at this stage, officers believe only one vehicle was involved.

Asst Chief Constable Mark Hoborough of Gwent Police said: “This is an extremely sad situation, and our thoughts are with the families and friends of each of the young people involved. We will continue to support the investigation and would ask members of the public to refrain from speculation during this period.”

Asst Chief Constable Jason Davies of South Wales Police added: “Our thoughts continue to be with the families and all those affected by this tragic incident. Specialist officers are carrying out a detailed investigation to piece together what has happened. Family liaison officers are supporting the families involved at what must be a hugely difficult time for them.”

Gwent Police and South Wales Police have referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which they said is part of the usual procedure.

In a statement, Eve Smith’s family asked for their privacy to be respected, adding: “We want to allow Gwent Police and South Wales Police the time and space to investigate the matter in a thorough and professional way and to enable the Independent Office for Police Conduct thereafter to come to their own conclusions.”

Members of the public involved in searches for the five have challenged the police version of events.

Lewis Pace, 26, and his father Matthew, 45, said they were searching for the missing youngsters when they saw tyre tracks across grass at a roundabout.

They told Sky News they investigated and found the Tiguan wedged behind trees.

Lewis said he was close friends with Mr Jeanne. He told Sky News: “As soon as they were reported missing they should have been out there looking for them, at the end of the day they were missing so there should have been a search there and then.”

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