Tributes as police investigate Cardiff car crash that left three people dead

(L-R) Eve Smith, Rafel Jeanne, Darcy Ross, Sophie Russon and Shane Laughlin

Tributes have been paid as police investigate the circumstances of a car crash which left three people dead and two others seriously injured.

Rafel Jeanne, 24, from Cardiff, Eve Smith, 21, from Newport, and Darcy Ross, 21, from Newport died in a car accident.

The other two missing people - Sophie Russon, 20 and Shane Loughlin, 32 - have been transported to hospital with serious injuries after a suspected crash off the A48.

All five people, three women and two men, were last been seen in Cardiff in the early hours of Saturday.

The women had travelled there from Porthcawl in a Volkswagen Tiguan with two men from Cardiff, who were also reported as missing.

The sister of Eve Smith said: “My beautiful little sister I’ve cried laughed and fought with you every week, but I’ve never been without you.

“We always said, ‘I got you always’ but now I’m sat here feeling so empty because you’re not here with me anymore, and I can’t accept this.

“I know you’re safe up with there with our beautiful sister Xana but I was never ready to let you go, my body is aching without you.”

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

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

Officers were called at 12.15am on Monday to a report of a car being located off the A48(M).

The VW Tiguan had been recovered just after midnight in the St Mellons area of Cardiff.

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

A friend of Miss Ross and Miss Smith said: “I don’t really have the words right now.

“Darcy Ross I’m going to miss you little gypsy girl. You were one of a kind, I’m going to miss trying to ‘life coach’ you as you would’ve said. You were a real ray of sunshine especially on my bad days.

“Eve Smith you were truly a beautiful young girl, who’s heart was made of gold just like your sister’s, give her a big hug for me and hold each other tight until the day we all have our turn and reunite.”

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

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.”

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

Meanwhile, Thomas Taylor, 47, from the Rumney area of Cardiff, was arrested at the scene for prevention of breach of the peace after being asked to leave the area.

Mr Taylor, a film and TV extra, said: “When I heard the reports, I just couldn’t believe it could be possible that a car could come off and no-one know they were there,” he said.

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