6 December 2023 10:54 AM
Shane Loughlin, 32, in a Facebook post yesterday, was seen for the first time since he survived the horror Cardiff car crash that left three friends dead on a night out. He appeared in good spirits as he posed with a friend, despite seemingly having his arm in a sling

A passenger who survived the horror Cardiff car crash that left three dead on a night out has been seen smiling in the first photo since the tragedy.

Friends Eve Smith, 21, Rafel Jeanne, 24, and Darcy Ross, 21, were all killed when the car crashed into woodland off the A48 on March 4. 

Shane Loughlin, 32, and Sophie Russon, 20, were pulled alive from the wreckage of a white VW Tiguan – having spent two days lying injured next to the bodies of their friends.

Mr Loughlin, in a Facebook post yesterday, was pictured for the first time as he continues to recover from his injuries. He appeared in good spirits as he posed with a friend, despite seemingly having his arm in a sling.

The photograph comes just days after fellow crash survivor Ms Russon paid tribute to her late friends Ms Smith and Ms Ross, saying: ‘Love you both so much.’

Shane Loughlin, 32, in a Facebook post yesterday, was seen for the first time since he survived the horror Cardiff car crash that left three friends dead on a night out. He appeared in good spirits as he posed with a friend, despite seemingly having his arm in a sling

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It comes after Sophie Russon, 20, posted a photo to Facebook over the weekend with car crash victims Eve Smith, 20, and Darcy Ross, 21. She described the women as the ‘most beautiful girls’ and her ‘besties forever’

Mr Loughlin was seriously injured in the fatal smash and last month – while still in hospital – said he ‘can’t believe’ what happened and is ‘gutted’.

‘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,’ he said just days after the accident.

‘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 have passed. Long way to recovery mentally and physically but we’ll get there.’ 

Ms Smith, Ms Ross and Ms Russon, who had been friends since they were children, had gone to the Muffler bar and club, in Newport, together. At some point in the evening they met up with Mr Jeanne and Mr Loughlin and a third man, Joel Lia, 27. 

The three young women had been reported missing after failing to return home from the night out. Their friends and family have told how they were forced to launch searches themselves after claiming their concerns were dismissed by police. 

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70161215 12006419 Passenger Shane Loughlin 32 pictured was left injured a 3 1682325094578 - Man, 32, who survived horror Cardiff car crash is seen smiling in first picture since smash

Driver Rafel Jeanne, 24, (left) was killed in the crash and passenger Shane Loughlin, 32, (right) was left injured

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Sophie Russon, 20, was one of two who friends survived when the car crashed into woodland off the A48 in Cardiff on the night of Friday, March 3

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Pictured: Mr Jeanne partying on Friday night in Newport with Darcy Ross. Both youngsters were killed in the crash

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Mr Loughlin said last month: ‘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 have passed. Long way to recovery mentally and physically but we’ll get there’

It was not until the day after they went missing, just after 11pm on Sunday, March 5 that police finally put out a public appeal. The car was found shortly after midnight the next day. It had crashed into trees at the side of the busy A48, on the outskirts of Cardiff, down a grassy bank.

The six left the club together in the Tiguan and drove 38 miles to Trecco Bay where Mr Loughlin had a caravan but left following a noise complaint at the holiday park. They then travelled back to Cardiff, where Mr Lia got out. 

The last sighting of the group was captured on CCTV at a petrol station in the Llanedeyrn area of the city. All communications and social media updates ended at about 2am on Saturday morning, moments before the crash.

Anna Certowicz, Sophie’s mother, said her daughter was left ‘unrecognisable’ from her injuries, requiring life-saving surgery after bruising on her brain in the accident.

Ms Certowicz, 42, who continues to nurse her daughter, has  slammed police for what she called the ‘appalling’ way the police handled the case and criticised their treatment of victims’ families, who had sounded the alarm that they were missing.  

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Sophie Russon, 20, was sedated in hospital after having life-saving surgery for bruising on her brain 

68368665 11829883 Sophie s mother Anna Certowicz 42 left was driving around the Gw a 33 1678185095081 - Man, 32, who survived horror Cardiff car crash is seen smiling in first picture since smash

Anna Certowicz, 42, (pictured with her daughter Sophie Russon, right) said her daughter’s friends might have survived the horror crash had police got there sooner 

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Mourners, on March 6, layed tributes near the scene in the St Mellons area of Cardiff where three people who disappeared on a night out died in a road traffic accident

She said of the police: ‘If they got there sooner, we don’t know, but maybe they could have survived.

‘The police did not do enough – it wasn’t until people started posting on social media that they paid us any attention,’ Ms Certowicz told the Mirror newspaper. ‘They had calls from me, Sophie’s dad and all the other families, but they were very blasé and said they’re probably out partying.’

Earlier this month, Ms Certowicz described the ‘miracle’ that her daughter had recovered so well. Just a month after the crash she said Ms Russon was ‘awake, eating and talking’. 

Her daughter has been treated with Mr Loughlin at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. 

Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12010079/Man-32-survived-horror-Cardiff-car-crash-seen-smiling-picture-smash.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270

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