I attended on incident on a Friday evening in response to 999 calls from several passing motorists, which involved a collision between three cars. When I arrived I noticed that there were not three cars involved but two, one of which had been cut in half due to the severity of the impact. The two cars were travelling in opposite directions when one of them, driven by a young man aged 17, decided to overtake on a blind bend and at speed. Sadly another car driven by a young lady with her son was travelling in the opposite direction and the two collided.
On arrival I was met with a scene of extreme devastation. The two halves of one car were either side of the carriageway with the driver and two young passengers lying on the roadway as a result of being thrown from their vehicle and one young passenger still in the vehicle with a seat belt on. All four casualties were unconscious. The other car, driven by the lady with her son, was sideways across the carriageway with the lady trapped by her legs. I called up two engines to assist with rescues and directed my fire-fighters to attend to the most badly injured. I released the young child from the one half of the spilt vehicle and attempted to resuscitate, sadly the child had already died.
We were at the incident for several hours working with the ambulance staff to treat injuries, using hydraulic cutting equipment to release those trapped and generally making the scene safe.
Despite our best efforts the young driver and two young passengers died at the scene as a result of their horrific injuries sustained from the collision. The young lady and her son both survived; however, the young lady sustained serious injuries that took a very long time to recover from.
It was later revealed that the young driver had no insurance, had been drinking alcohol and was ‘showing off’ to his mates, losing control of the vehicle which led to the collision. Not all of the passengers were wearing seat belts which may well have contributed to the severity of the injuries sustained.
I have been in the Fire Service for over 24 years and seen many nasty collisions; however, this incident had the biggest effect on me due to the three youngsters losing their lives through stupidity and the fact that they were the same age as my children. I occasionally drive past the flowers that are laid by the roadside in memory of these children and every time I pass, I relive the tragedy and remember the heartache experienced by the family.
Head of Community Safety - South Wales Fire and Rescue Service