Cardiff car crash victims lay undiscovered for 46 hours after police told family to ‘stop ringing’

Darcy Ross, Eve Smith, Sophie Russon, Shane Loughlin, Rafel Jeanne – Media Wales/Social media

The mother of one of five victims of a car crash was told to stop calling the police station for updates while her daughter lay undiscovered and severely injured for around 46 hours.

Sophie Russon’s mother, Anna Certowicz, reported her daughter missing after she didn’t come back from a night out in Newport, South Wales on Friday evening with two of her childhood friends.

Sophie, 20, was last seen with Eve Smith, 21, and Darcy Ross, 21, in Cardiff in the early hours of Saturday having traveled there from Porthcawl.

They had made the trip in a Volkswagen Tiguan with two men, Rafel Jeanne, 24, and Shane Loughlin, 32, both from Cardiff, who were also reported as missing.

Police believe the car was involved in a road traffic collision and came off the A48(M) but it is not clear exactly when that happened.

On Monday, South Wales Police said they discovered the wreckage of the car near a roundabout just after midnight in St Mellon.

Police officers at the scene on the A48 between Cardiff and Newport after the car of five missing people was found - Gareth Everett/Huw Evans Agency

Police officers at the scene on the A48 between Cardiff and Newport after the car of five missing people was found – Gareth Everett/Huw Evans Agency

A missing persons report was made to Gwent Police at 9pm on Saturday evening, a source told The Telegraph.

Family members have confirmed that two women and one man – Ms Ross, Ms Smith and Mr Jeanne – were killed in the crash while Ms Russon and Mr Loughlin are being treated for serious injuries.

Ms Certowicz, 42, has now said she was driving around the Gwent and Cardiff areas on Sunday night in a desperate search for her daughter – after police officers told her to “stop ringing” the station for updates.

She told the Mail Online: “They didn’t seem to care. I had to drive to Cardiff to knock on doors myself because they were doing s– all. They just didn’t seem to think it was worth investigating. It was so frustrating.

“I think they assumed that Sophie was hungover somewhere, but she’s a sensible girl who works in a bank and hasn’t taken a day off for three years.

“She’s not someone who’s out clubbing in Cardiff all the time. On Friday nights, she’s more likely to be babysitting so other people can go out. She wouldn’t just vanish like this unless something was wrong.”

Rafel Jeanne’s family confirmed to The Telegraph that the 24-year-old had died in the five-person car crash in Cardiff.

Speaking from her home in Cardiff, Rafel’s sister, who asked not to be named, said her brother had been killed in the crash.

Mr. Loughlin survived the accident and is currently in intensive care, according to Mr. Jeanne’s sister.

The woman, who shares children with Mr Loughlin, said: “I am so glad Shane’s alive but he’s in intensive care so we don’t know how he will be.”

As far as she was aware, the two men did not know the three women and they probably met on the night out, she added.

A vehicle is recovered and moved under cover from the scene - Gareth Everett/Huw Evans Agency

A vehicle is recovered and moved under cover from the scene – Gareth Everett/Huw Evans Agency

Lauren Doyle, Ms Smith’s sister, broke the news of her sister’s death on Facebook at 3:15 am on Monday morning: “I will not comment on anyone other than Eve Smith to confirm that she has been confirmed as deceased.

“Thank you for your support and shares [sic]I won’t be answering messages please allow us some time as a family to digest this terrible news.”

A family member of Ms. Ross, who did not wish to be identified, confirmed that she had also been killed in the accident.

“Three of those who were reported missing have been found deceased, two have been taken to hospital with serious injuries,” a Gwent Police spokesman said.

“Specialist officers are supporting the families of those involved and inquiries are ongoing.

“The case has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in line with normal procedures.”

Photographs from the scene show large green fencing and tarpaulin has been erected around the crash site, which is among trees.

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

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.”

Later, South Wales Police said that at 12.15am on Monday, officers were called to a report of a car located off the A48(M).

“South Wales Police is carrying out an investigation into the road traffic collision to establish what happened,” a force spokesman said.

“We would like to thank the public for their patience and their cooperation while the road is closed. Our thoughts are with those affected by this incident.”

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