James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
'Sorry to everyone': Cardiff crash survivor says he only just heard his friends died in emotional first message
11 March 2023, 13:11 | Updated: 11 March 2023, 17:02
One of the two survivors of the horror crash near Cardiff that left three people dead and two seriously injured has released an emotional message after the tragedy.
Listen to this article
Shane Loughlin, 32, who was treated in hospital alongside fellow smash survivor Sophie Russon, 20, said he had "only just found out" what happened in the early hours of last Saturday morning (March 4).
The vehicle, which was carrying five people, left the A48(M) in the St Mellons area, and veered into trees. Eve Smith and Darcy Ross, both 21, and Rafel Jeanne, 24, died in the crash.
Ms Russon and Mr Loughlin were found alive after 46 hours, having spent two days in the car seriously injured next to their friends’ bodies.
Mr Loughlin said on Facebook in a statement released via a friend: Only just found out what happened just want to say sorry to everyone and Thank you everyone who helped with the search party and thank you for everyone wishing me well I’ll be back soon love you all."
"Rip Rafel, Eve, and Darcy. Can’t believe it gutted is an understatement heart goes out to all families and friends of the people that has passed. Long way to recovery mentally and physically but we’ll get there."
Questions have been asked about why it took police so long to find the car, and Ms Russon's mother claimed police told her to "stop calling" while she drove around South Wales looking for her daughter after the group went missing.
Officers have now confirmed no other vehicle was involved in the crash. Watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct are looking into how the investigation has been carried out.
IOPC director David Ford said: “My thoughts go out to the families and friends of those who have tragically lost their lives, to those who have been injured, and indeed to the many people who have been affected by this incident.
"After careful assessment of referrals from Gwent Police and South Wales Police we have decided to independently investigate how police responded to the missing person reports.
“We will be examining what information police had, the grading given to any risk assessments, and the steps taken by police to locate the missing people prior to the Volkswagen Tiguan being found just after midnight on Monday.
"We will also consider what communication took place between the two forces and whether police action was appropriate and followed relevant policy and procedures. Our investigation is at a very early stage.
“We will be contacting the families involved to express our sympathies, explain our role ,and set out how our investigation will progress."
"We are aware of the significant community concern about the tragic events that have unfolded and would like to assure everyone that we will conduct a thorough and timely investigation.”