Grieving Elber Twomey waited 18 months for her say after she lost her family to a suicidal Polish taxi-driver in England.
The 37-year-old from Meelin, Co. Cork, who lost her husband, her 16-month-old son and the daughter she was expecting from her pregnancy, said after the inquest into her boy’s death: “Up to 2:46 p.m. on July 6. 2012 I had not a care in the world.”
Then, one minute later “our wonderful life ended.”
She lost her son Oisin in the accident, her 38-year-old husband Con 10 months later in the hospital, and the baby daughter she was carrying in her pregnancy. Elber, who fought for her own life in the hospital, was the only survivor of the crash.
They were just three miles from the town of Torquay when Marek Wojciechowski, 26, suicidal and distressed, drove his black Opel Vectra across the dual carriageway and accelerated into the Twomeys.
Elber, who wasn’t allowed make a statement at the inquest, spoke with dignity immediately afterwards and blamed the way police handled their chase of the suicidal driver.
Jurors, who remained behind after the inquest, heard Elber say, “I will always be of the opinion that the manner in which the police dealt with Marek that horrific day was completely wrong.”
She said Devon and Cornwall Constabulary should have stopped him, using “stingers” or other methods to bring him to a halt, not sirens, blue lights and hand signals.
She choked back tears as she added, “After all he was not driving erratically, he did not have his wife and children with him and he had not indicated that he would end his life using his car.
“The poor man was unwell, he was no criminal, he had not robbed a bank, or murdered anyone.”
Police Chief Superintendent Jim Nye said Britain’s Independent Police Complaints Commission had investigated and cleared the police’s handling of the incident. The commission found that the police had acted “entirely in line” with national rules and training.
Elber received serious head injuries. She was 24 weeks pregnant and lost the baby daughter she was carrying.
The Twomey family were on the final day of a summer holiday in the south of England. Wojciechowski deliberately veered into the path of their Volkswagen Golf and crashed head-on into them after he left a suicide note.
“Our tragic crash with Marek claimed the lives of our beautiful little man, baba Oisin, and his beautiful unborn sister. If that wasn’t tragic enough it also claimed the life of my darling Con on May 3 this year. I lost my everybody,” Elber said.
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