Vigil planned for three people killed in horror crash in Cardiff

A vigil is planned for the three young people who died in a car crash in Cardiff. South Wales Police confirmed on Monday that Eve Smith, 21, Darcy Ross, also 21, and Rafel Jeanne, 24, were killed in the smash.

A vigil is planned for 6pm on Tuesday at the scene of the accident, according to posts on social media.

Sophie Russon, 20, and Shane Loughlin, 32, who were also in the car, are at University Hospital of Wales in a critical condition, according to the police.

The group had been to a sports and social club in Maesglas, Newport, on Friday night and were thought to have next travelled 40 miles to the Trecco Bay area of Porthcawl.

They are believed to have then gone to the Llanedeyrn area of Cardiff. The youngsters were last seen at about 2am on Saturday.

All five were later registered missing by their families having failed to return home – with a report made to Gwent Police on Saturday evening.

Hundreds of members of the public took part in searches, but Gwent Police did not issue a public appeal for help until 11pm on Sunday, with the car found shortly after midnight on Monday.

The wreckage of the white Volkswagen Tiguan was found in a copse of trees. It was hidden from the view of the busy road, residential houses and a nearby garden centre.

Officers believe the car was involved in a road traffic collision and came off the A48(M), but exactly when it happened is still under investigation.

Friends of the five have claimed they found the vehicle while police insist it was located by helicopter.


Two women, who identified themselves as friends of the Loughlin family, questioned the police response.

They said: “Everyone knew it was a crash, it was just a matter of waiting until they found them.

“The police were terrible. I don’t think they took it seriously.

“The families said it was out of character for them to go missing and the police should have listened to them.

“Shane’s mum was up all weekend worried sick.”

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The two women added: “The boys from Cardiff, all their friends were driving around looking for them, it was those people looking who found them, not the police.”

Former Metropolitan Police officer, Peter Bleksley, told the BBC: “On the face of it, with suitably resourced officers and the technology available, this should be a fairly straightforward kind of investigation to find the vehicle and the occupants.

“Quite simply, something has gone wrong because they weren’t found within a short space of time and, tragically, who knows whether injury or death may have been prevented.

“Not only do the police grade missing people according to the level of risk, but crimes accordingly too.”

He added: “And if they regard a crime or a missing person as low level they quite simply don’t do anything.”

Newport West MP Ruth Jones said she understood the concerns over the apparent delay in finding the group, but people need to wait.

Ms Jones told the BBC: “I know people have taken to social media to express their condolences.

“But rumours and things are circulating and sometimes it’s quite tricky to actually establish the facts.”

Eve’s death comes eight years after her sister Xana Doyle, 19, was killed in a car crash.

The driver, who was twice the drink-drive limit, was prosecuted and Ms Smith took part in a Sky TV documentary about the incident. She had campaigned for tougher sentences.

Her sister paid tribute to her in a post on Facebook.

She said: “My beautiful little sister I’ve cried laughed and fought with you every week, but I’ve never been without you.”

South Wales Police and Gwent Police have said they referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) “in line with normal procedure”.

An IOPC spokesman said: “We can confirm that Gwent Police have advised us that they are making a referral in connection with this tragic incident and we will carry out an assessment in due course to determine what further action may be required from us.”

It comes as a sea of tributes forms around the site of the crash.

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