Cardiff hit-and-runs: Friends' tribute to Karina Menzies

Hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to a mother, close to the spot where she was killed in a series of hit-and-runs in Cardiff.

Karina Menzies, 32, was struck outside Ely fire station on Friday by a van, which also injured another 13 people in the city over a 30-minute period.

A packed church service later heard the incident had "broken the heart of the community".

A man, 31, is being questioned on suspicion of murder.

Thirteen people were injured in a series of hit-and-runs in Ely and Leckwith in the west of Cardiff, which happened on Friday afternoon as children were walking home from school.

Seven of those hurt were aged under 12, including two of Ms Menzies' daughters, aged 23 months and eight.

Nine people remain in hospital, with two adults in intensive care.

Friends of Ms Menzies staged the informal tribute to her outside Ely fire station on Cowbridge Road West from 14:00 BST.

Some of those attending were in tears as a song, Tarrus Riley's She's Royal, was played and dedicated to her and her family.

It was followed by a minute's silence.

It was also announced that trust funds would be set up for the hit-and-run victims.

Meanwhile, Welsh Secretary David Jones, on a visit to police in Cardiff, said he wanted to pass on the thanks of the prime minister to emergency and health services as well as his sympathies to those affected by the events.

Mr Jones said: "The incidents that took place in Cardiff on Friday were tragic and unprecedented.

"They have shocked not only the local community, but the whole country."

He added: "I spoke to the prime minister last night and I provided him with an update on the situation. He expressly asked me to pass on his personal thanks to the emergency services and his sympathies to victims and their families and friends."

Image caption Karina Menzies died and two of her young daughters were hurt on Friday

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Karina Menzies' family and the other victims' families involved in the tragic events."

Hundreds later packed into the Church of the Resurrection on Grand Avenue, one of the main streets in Ely where a 32-year-old man and two girls aged 10 and 12 were knocked down by the van.

The local MP Kevin Brennan opened the special service with a reading, while prayers were said and candles were lit.

Mr Brennan, Labour MP for Cardiff West, said the community wanted justice for Ms Menzies, her family and all those affected by Friday's tragedy.

He said beforehand: "Once the anger subsides, which is understandable because of what's happened, what people will want to see is justice for the victims.

"I think the community in Ely are devastated really by what's happened. This is a very close-knit community, it's not a very wealthy one, but it is rich in community spirit.

"I think first of all people have been shocked, they have been asking the reason why, and now they're beginning - as this community does - to rally round the victims."

The Reverend Jan Gould, who led the service, told the packed church the healing process would take a very long time.

"This must be the most grief we have every shared as a community," she said. "This grief has broken the heart of our community.

"We will never be the same as a community..but we will recover and the reason we will recover is this is a strong community, and it's a community that cares and looks out for people that are vulnerable and broken."

Image caption Numerous flowers and tributes have been left near the scene where Ms Menzies was killed

The parish said its bereavement team would offer guidance and pastoral care for people who needed support.

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, has also said his thoughts and prayers are with the families of those affected.

"A tragic incident like this shows how fragile life is and how vulnerable we all are," he said.

The Most Rev George Stack, the Archbishop of Cardiff, said he was "shocked and saddened" by the incident.

The van's two-mile journey came to the police's attention at around 15:30 BST on Friday when there were reports of an incident at Crossways Road in Ely.

There were chaotic scenes around the city as it soon became clear many other people had been injured elsewhere.

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

Police revealed on Saturday that people were also assaulted outside the van, possibly with a weapon.

And they want anyone 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 on Friday to get in touch.

Ms Menzies's family paid tribute to her on Sunday, saying she "lived for her kids".

"She was a good friend to everyone and was well thought of in the community. She will be sorely missed by everyone."

Ms Menzies' brother Craig has said she "saved the lives" of her two children, while a family tribute said she "lived for her kids and her brothers and sisters and everything she did was for her family".

Ms Menzies's eldest child, who is 10, is on a "dream holiday" in Florida.

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

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