A mother whose daughter was seriously injured in a crash near Cardiff that killed three of her friends has said the police did not take her concerns seriously.
Anna Certowicz, the mum of 20-year-old Sophie Russon, told the MailOnline that officers had said her daughter was ‘probably out partying’.
Instead, she was trapped in a Volkswagen Tiguan at the side of the A48 in the Welsh capital for up to 46 hours.
Sophie had been on a night out at the Muffler club in Millport on Friday with her friends Shane Loughlin, 32, Eve Smith, 21, Darcy Ross, 21 and Rafel Jeanne, 24.
Eve, Darcy and Rafel were all discovered dead in the crashed car this morning, with Shane and Sophie rushed to hospital.
Ms Certowicz, 41, told the website she had to go out searching for the group herself.
She said: ‘It’s too awful to imagine what she went through trapped in the car in the dark until it got light and then dark again over two days.
‘Sophie was lying there for all that time, they could all have been found much quicker if the police had started searching straight away.’
She added that her daughter had been conscious some of the time and called out, but nobody was close enough to hear her.
According to Ms Certowicz, it was a volunteer searcher with a dog who found the car rather than the police.
She said: ‘They didn’t take it seriously, they kept saying she’s 20 and they are all probably out partying.
‘I told them my daughter doesn’t go out on three day benders – she and her friends are good girls. It was out of character for all of them.
‘I was ringing the police all through Saturday and Sunday but they didn’t seem bothered.’
Friends and family of the crash victims joined Ms Certowicz in criticising the police effort to find them.
Tamzin Samuels, who was helping the search effort, told The Guardian: ‘I do think the police could have done a lot more – put up the helicopter earlier.
‘They only posted an appeal an hour before the girls were found.
‘The search party found the girls before the police. I think that speaks volumes, really.’
Rhian Taylor, 26, told the newspaper: ‘Those poor young girls could have been saved if they were found earlier.
‘Thousands of people must have driven past. Why did it take so long to find them?’
Referrals have been made by Gwent Police and South Wales Police to the Independent Office of Police Conduct.
Metro.co.uk has contacted South Wales Police and Gwent Police for comment.
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