Three people killed in Cardiff car crash after night out are named

Two women and a man who were killed in a car crash in Cardiff after a night out have been named - as their loved ones paid tribute to them.

Eve Smith, 21, Darcy Ross, 21, and Rafel Jeanne, 24, died in the accident, while Sophie Russon, 20, and Shane Loughlin, 32, who were in the same vehicle, are in hospital with serious injuries.

All five were in a Volkswagen Tiguan that came off the A48(M) in the Welsh capital and crashed into trees.

The three women, from Newport, were last seen in the Llanedeyrn area of Cardiff at around 2am on Saturday morning.

They had travelled with the two men to the capital from the town of Porthcawl. The trio had earlier been in Newport and were reported missing to Gwent Police.

The men, who were from Cardiff, were also reported missing by their families.

The car was discovered soon after midnight on Monday in the St Mellons area of the capital, South Wales Police said.

A search helicopter found the Tiguan, it is understood, with three people found dead while the two others were taken to hospital.

Officers believe the vehicle was involved in a road traffic collision but it is not clear exactly when that happened.

On social media, tributes have been paid as family members confirmed their loved ones had died.

A relative of Ms Smith wrote: "I will not comment on anyone other than Eve Smith to confirm that she has been confirmed as deceased.

"Thank you for your support and shares and I won't be answering messages please allow us some time as a family to digest this terrible news x."

'One of a kind'

A friend of Ms Ross and Ms Smith wrote: "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."

A friend of Mr Loughlin posted: "I'm so proud of us all pulling together out there searching for our dear friends last night.

"It's heart breaking what's happened to Rafel Jeanne and those two girls. My body is still shaking and I can't stop being sick the thought of them all there all of that time.

"Many times I have driven past, it just makes me so sad and to how helpless our Shane Loughlin must of felt trapped inside.

"Wish Sophie a speedy recovery and I send all my love and strength to all the families involved."

'She was great'

Speaking at the scene, 20-year-old Tamzin Samuels, a friend of the three women, said: "They were the life of the party. Darcy was known as a wild child, loved life and lived life to the fullest and she didn't care what anyone thought about her. She was great.

"Eve had a smile that could brighten a room as soon as she walked in. A real feisty, independent girl, but everyone loved her just as much. I didn't really know the boys and one of our friends who is recovering, we just really hope for her on the road to recovery."

South Wales Police and Gwent Police have both referred their handling of the investigation to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).