Caravan park 'altercation' before fatal Cardiff car crash investigated by police

Police are looking into reports of an ‘altercation’ said to have taken place just a few hours before a deadly car crash in Cardiff.

Eve Smith and Darcy Ross, both 21, and Rafel Jeanne, 24, died when the Volkswagen Tiguan they were in left the A48(M) and hit trees in the St Mellons area of the city in the early hours of Saturday.

Sophie Russon, 20, and Shane Loughlin, 32, were found alive and seriously injured inside the crumpled wreck 48 hours later and remain in a critical condition.

Officers believe the car was involved in a collision and left the road sometime later.

Now South Wales Police have revealed they are investigating reports of an altercation at Trecco Bay caravan park in Porthcawl, where the group drove after leaving a nightclub 40 miles away in Newport, as well as claims a sixth passenger had been in the car, the Mirror reports.

An anonymous source quoted by The Sun yesterday said: ‘We heard they went to the caravan park and there was some sort of altercation, we don’t know what that was, but they had to leave.

‘There was another man in the car who wanted to go home. They dropped him off and then at some point crashed.’

The force said it cannot comment further while the investigation is ongoing.

The group of friends involved in Saturday’s crash had been to a social club in Maesglas, Newport, on Friday before travelling to the park.

After failing to go home, the five were reported missing by their families.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched an investigation into two police forces over the search for missing victims.

It came after a friend of Rafel Jeanne discovered the car after just 15 minutes of searching.

Sophie Russon, 20, was so badly injured in the collision that she was unable to reach her phone and call for help.

The bank worker has since undergone life-saving surgery in hospital.

Timeline: police confirm stages of investigation

  • 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 on the ground had sight of the car (a Volkswagen Tiguan) at 12:02am on Monday 6th March, and this culminated in a log being created by South Wales Police at 12:15am.
  • At this stage, police believe only one vehicle to be involved.

A vigil was held at the crash site on Tuesday evening where around 1,000 people gathered, lighting candles and flares while others rode mopeds, motorbikes and quad bikes around the roundabout.

A firework display lit up the sky above St Mellons for around 30 minutes while family and friends looked on.

Police have confirmed the group were last seen at about 2am on Saturday in Pentwyn, Cardiff.

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