Wales

Cardiff hit-and-runs: Two of 13 hurt 'critical' as murder inquiry continues

  • 20 October 2012
  • From the section Wales

Two people are in intensive care after hit-and-runs in Cardiff that left a woman dead and 13 people injured.

The incident involving a van lasted 30 minutes on Friday. Police have been given a further 36 hours to question a 31-year-old man on suspicion of murder.

Detectives revealed that people were also assaulted outside the van, possibly with a weapon.

Nine casualties, five of them children, are still in hospital. Two adults are in critical but stable conditions.

Detectives said they were "keeping an open mind" about the circumstances.

They also want witnesses who saw a black Renault Clio being driven on the wrong side of Western Avenue, near the Tesco Extra store, at around 15:25 BST, which may be linked to the man they are questioning.

The dead woman has been named locally as 32-year-old Karina Menzies, who police said has still not been formally identified.

Floral tributes have been laid by local people outside Ely fire station, close to where she died.

The injured included six girls aged between 23 months and 12-years-old, and a nine-year-old boy.

Eyewitnesses have said pedestrians were deliberately targeted by someone driving a van in five locations.

A man was arrested after police stopped a van on the outskirts of the city near the Merrie Harrier pub at Llandough on Friday night.

On Saturday evening, South Wales Police confirmed that magistrates had granted officers more time to question him.

Police would not confirm at which point they began to pursue the suspect's vehicle, a white Iveco van.

Detectives said there were five separate crime scenes and they have been appealed for sightings of the white van in the Grand Avenue area of Ely.

Det Supt Paul Hurley told a news conference that the suspect left the van and physically assaulted people between the crashes and also carried a weapon.

The officer said: "We are aware the suspect assaulted people outside his vehicle," and he added police were "looking to identify and recover" the weapon.

He said no firearm was involved and there was no suggestion anyone had been stabbed.

The van is undergoing forensic tests.

Events started unfolding after police were called to an incident in Crossways Road in Ely at 15:30 BST.

Image caption Mother-of-three Karina Menzies was killed when the van ploughed into her

There were soon reports of hit-and-run collisions in several locations in the west of the city: Grand Avenue, Cowbridge Road West, Sloper Road and near Asda at Leckwith Retail Park, close to Cardiff City's football stadium.

Police amended the number of casualties to 14 - one dead and 13 people injured - ahead of a news conference on Saturday.

Diane Quick, 43, from Ely, told BBC Wales her niece Anastasia Jones, 22, and her great-niece Amelia, two, were both injured.

Image caption Anastasia Jones, 22, and her daughter were both injured

"They were hit from behind by the van. Amelia was in the pram but she has bruising.

"Anna has a broken leg and she's waiting for a scan.

"I've seen Karina coming in and out of school collecting her kids. People say how nice she was, always happy and willing to help people.

"I heard she was on her way from school from picking up the children. It's horrendous."

Stuart Bateman, who was travelling on a bus passing Ely Fire Station, told BBC Radio 5Live: "There were two kids on the floor and a white van reversing.

"And there was a woman waving at the van, trying to say stop. The van just straightened up and sped off out of the fire station. Behind her there was a woman on the floor and I believe that was the woman who died."

Image caption There have been a series of hit-and-runs at incidents in west Cardiff

Cardiff City players were wearing black armbands during their Championship game at Nottingham Forest on Saturday as a mark of respect.

"Our prayers are with the families of all involved, along with our best wishes to those receiving support from the excellent University Hospital of Wales medical teams," the club said in a statement on its website.

Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan, in Ely on Saturday morning, said people were "waking up to a nightmare which was just too real".

He said it was "shockingly normal scene" apart from the police tapes and incident markers.

"Everyone here is asking the question 'why?' It beggars belief, people have been traumatised, seeing things they should not expect to see.

"They're struggling to find the words. People will unite. Ely is a very generous community if not a well-off community.

"I know they will rally around the family of Karina Menzies and the other families. They're going to be shocked and extremely concerned about what happened."

The Most Rev George Stack, the Archbishop of Cardiff, was "shocked and saddened" by what had happened.

"I extend my sympathy and prayers to those who have been injured and bereaved, and to all who have been directly affected by these events," he said.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said he had been left "deeply shocked" by the events and his thoughts were with the families of those most affected by what had happened.

"I would like to thank all the emergency services who are dealing with the consequences of these horrendous events," he added.

Seventy officers are working on the incident, which involved "multiple scenes and multiple injuries".

Police cordons outside the Asda supermarket at Leckwith and Cogan spur have been lifted.

South Wales Police asked for anyone with information to contact 0800 096 0095.

Image caption A white van was stopped by police on the outskirts of the city

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