07 Mar

Pictured left to right; Darcy Ross, 21, Rafel Jeanne, 24, and Eve Smith, 21 - Credit: Social Media

In the early hours of yesterday morning (6 March), a statement from Gwent Police confirmed the deaths of three people on the A48 in St Mellons, who were reported missing just two days before.

Emergency services discovered a Volkswagen Tiguan vehicle at 12.15am on Monday, after the police helicopter, police and fire officers were deployed to the scene.

Formal identification later confirmed that the bodies were that of Darcy Ross, 21, from Newport, Rafel Jeanne, 24, from Cardiff, and Eve Smith, 21, from Newport.

The families of the three continue to be supported by specialist family liaison officers.

Two others were taken to the University Hospital of Wales, Sophie Russon and Shane Loughlin, aged 20 and 32, who are described as being in a state of "critical condition".

All five people were last seen at 2.00am on Saturday, 4 March in Pentwyn, East Cardiff, following a night-out in neighbouring city Newport, and were found 48-hours later.

Assistant Chief Constable Jason Davies of South Wales Police said:

"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."

At mid-afternoon today (7 March), the force issued a timeline of the incident, and what they believe to have happened. It says:

  • The last confirmed sighting of the five people was at 2am on Saturday 4th March in Pentwyn.
  • The collision occurred during the early hours of Saturday 4th March, the exact time to be confirmed by the investigation, including CCTV and ANPR enquiries.
  • The first missing person report was made to Gwent Police at 7.34pm on Saturday 4th March.
  • Further missing person reports were made to Gwent Police at 7.43pm and 9.32pm on Saturday 4th March.
  • A further missing person report was made to South Wales Police at 5.37pm on Sunday 5th March.
  • At 11.50pm on Sunday 5th March the police helicopter was requested to search an area of Cardiff which resulted in a vehicle being located in a wooded area off the A48.
  • Gwent Police officers, who were in the area conducting enquiries during Sunday evening, discovered a Volkswagen Tiguan vehicle at 12.15am on Monday 6th March.
  • Only one vehicle was involved.

The last confirmed sighting of three of the group of five, before they went missing on Saturday, 4 March - Credit: Family & Friends

In a statement, the family of Eve Smith, one of the three killed in the incident, said:

"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."

News of Ms Smith's death comes eights years after her sister, Xana Doyle, died at the age of just 19, also in a car crash.

One friend of another one of the victims, Darcy Ross, wrote on social media:

"You was one of a kind. No one could ever quite compare to you. Your beautiful infectious smile, your wild personality, your long dark hair, always up for a party and my god you was the toughest girl I ever did meet always ready to take on anything. You have always been way to precious for this world!

"Your beautiful soul has left us way to soon and I just can’t believe it. My heart is absolutely broken into pieces. I will forever cherish all our crazy wild memories forever. I will never ever forget you. Rest in paradise up there now my angel I love you forever and I’ll miss you always."

A vigil was organised on Tuesday evening at the scene of the tragedy to remember the victims - Credit: Media Wales

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of people gathered at the scene of the incident where the three young people lost their lives.

In order to commemorate the victims, fireworks and candles were lit, and flowers were left to line the grass.

Following a number of criticisms on the handling of the case days before the individuals were found, Gwent Police and South Wales Police have referred the matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, as is usual in these circumstances.

Anyone with any information on the case is asked to call police on 101, or send a direct message on social media, quoting 2300071791.

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