Three teenagers killed in South Wales crash named

Written by on 12th December 2023

Three teenagers who were killed after a car collided with a bus in Coedely, South Wales, have been named by police.

18-year-olds Morgan Smith and Jesse Owen and Callum Griffiths, 19, were declared dead at the scene.

Two others have sustained life-threatening injuries.

Daniel Chalfont said on Facebook he was “literally broken” following the death of Morgan Smith.

“Literally the most perfect son you could ever wish for,” he said.

“Miss you so much already.”

Maerdy Boxing Club said in a statement that Mr Smith was the “Nicest person you could ever wish to meet”.

“Not only was Morgan a great person he was also a very talented Boxer becoming a Welsh Champion, representing Wales in the British Championships and also traveled to Ireland with us to box.

“Our thoughts and prays are with Morgan’s family at this very sad time.”

The club confirmed it would be closed until further notice.

In a statement, South Wales Police said:

“At around 7pm last night (Monday 11 December) emergency services were called to the scene of a serious road traffic collision involving a bus and an Audi A1 on Ely Valley Road, Coedely.

“Three men – two aged 18 and one aged 19 – were declared dead at the scene. Two further men, aged 18 and 19, were taken to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff with life-threatening injuries.

“Two other people were also treated for minor injuries.”

The road has since reopened.

Superintendent Esyr Jones said:

“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragic incident. Trained family liaison officers are supporting the families at what must be an extremely difficult time for them.”

The force previously asked for anyone with dash cam footage or who witnessed the collision to get in touch.

A Welsh Ambulance spokesperson said:

“We sent seven emergency ambulances, two operational managers and our Hazardous Area Response Team to the scene.

“We were supported by pre-hospital immediate care specialists from MEDSERVE Wales, and advanced critical care support was delivered by the Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service in a Wales Air Ambulance charity car.”

Graham Drew lives on nearby Gladys Street, and told Sky News:

“It is a stretch of road that is quite dangerous.

“This was an accident waiting to happen.”

He said the community was “obviously very concerned about what has just happened”.

“We did open the community centre to ask people to go in and have a cuppa and I do believe that police spoke to the people there to communicate with the families related to the incident.”

Another local resident who did not wish to be named told Sky News she could see lights when she looked out of her bedroom window on Monday evening.

“Within five minutes, there was a woman trying to get down and they [Police] wouldn’t let her and she was screaming ‘My boy, my boy’,” she said.

“Everybody’s stunned. We’re just stunned. It’s terrible. No words for it.”

Danny Grehan, councillor for Tonyrefail East said the mood was “heavy” within the local community.

“Any tragic accident is going to bring a lot of grief and a lot of pain,” he said.

“That is really evident in the community and in the community here in Coedely this morning where this tragic accident has happened.

“The local people been involved in this accident, we still don’t know the details. But obviously the loss of life in any event is a real hit for us as a community.”

He thanked the people of Coedely for their response to the incident.

“They went out of their way last night,” Cllr Grehan added.

“They opened the community centre, they opened their hearts to whoever was involved in last night and the work that was going on.”

He said there were “no words” to convey the grief the families would be feeling.

“It’s tragic, deeply sad and my deepest condolences go to those members of the family,” he added.

Wales’s first minister, Mark Drakeford, posted his condolences on X, formerly Twitter.

“My thoughts are with the families and friends of those involved in this tragic incident in Coedely, and diolch o galon (heartfelt thanks) to all first responders working at the scene,”

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