Police have determined the exact minute a car carrying five friends crashed off a road in Cardiff.
Eve Smith, 21, and Darcy Ross, 21, were found dead along with Rafel Jeanne, 24.
Sophie Russon, 20, and Shane Loughlin, 32, were found alive and seriously injured in the rubble next to their dead friends.
Officials have now announced that the car went off the busy expressway at 2.03am last Saturday morning.
It was obscured by trees for 46 hours before being spotted just after midnight on Monday.
Investigators are now asking for the help of anyone who spotted the nine-year-old white VW Tiguan in the moments leading up to the tragedy.
Her appeal comes after a sixth passenger in the car spoke up and gave police a “full account” of his final hours with the five friends.
Boyfriend Joel Lia, 27, was dropped off just before the car turned off a busy road into a wooded area in Cardiff – and was not found for a further 46 hours.
Mr Lia has been “fully cooperating” with the police to investigate the tragedy at the end of a night where the six went to a seaside caravan park after drinking at a nightclub.
Officials are trying to piece together the group’s movements in the run-up to the crash, combing surveillance cameras and license plate recognition cameras for the white VW Tiguan being driven by Mr Jeanne.
A police spokesman said: “The families of Rafel Jeanne, Darcy Ross and Eve Smith, who died in the collision, continue to receive support from specialist family liaison officers. Post-mortem examinations are ongoing.
“Two other people remain at the University Hospital of Wales.
“Following extensive investigations, which examined surveillance cameras and number plate recognition cameras in the area, the time of the collision has been confirmed as 2.03am on Saturday 4 March.
“The white Volkswagen Tiguan veered off the road into a wooded area.
“Detectives investigating the collision are now contacting anyone who was in the area or possibly along the A48 Eastern Avenue between Cardiff and St Blooms Garden Center) who may have dashcam footage from the period to inquire report.
“They also want to speak to anyone who has been to the area and may have seen the Volkswagen Tiguan.”
Police say the appeal is for witnesses who may have seen the vehicle and there is no indication another vehicle was involved in the collision.
Deputy Chief Constable Jason Davies of South Wales Police said: “The inquiry is making good progress in compiling the events leading up to the collision.
“Special officers will continue to conduct a detailed investigation that will allow us to provide the facts of what happened in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“Our thoughts remain with the families and all those affected by this tragic incident. Family Liaison Officers are supporting affected families at what must be an extremely difficult time for them.’
The last confirmed sighting of the friends was at 2am on Saturday when Mr Lia was dropped off at nearby Pentwyn, Cardiff, just two miles from the scene of the tragedy.
A source said: “He has cooperated fully with officers on the case and is understandably very upset by what happened that night.”
Mr. Lia was with Mr. Jeanne, Mr. Lia and Mr. Loughlin, who met Eve, Darcy and Sophie at a social club called The Muffler in Newport on Friday night.
They later got in the car and drove 38 miles to Porthcawl where Mr Loughlin has a caravan.
There was an alleged noise disturbance at Trecco Bay camp, but officials “do not believe it played a major role in subsequent events”.
Mr Jeanne was a “very close friend” of Mr Lia and they had been dating the night before the tragedy.
The five friends were only discovered in the overturned car shortly after midnight on Monday.
Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hoborough of Gwent Police said: “This is an extremely sad situation and our thoughts are with the families and friends of all the young people involved.
“We will continue to support the investigation and ask the public to refrain from speculating during this time.”
Gwent Police and South Wales Police are under investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct over their handling of the case.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories like this, Visit our news page.
Get the top news, feel-good stories, analysis and more
https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/10/police-pinpoint-exact-minute-of-cardiff-crash-that-killed-three-friends-18421823/ Police are locating the exact minute of the crash in Cardiff that killed three friends