South East Wales

Cardiff hit-and-runs: Victim Jill White on Matthew Tvrdon van terror

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Media captionJill White said her daughter thought she was dead

A grandmother has spoken for the first time about her horrific experience of being dragged under a van during a series of hit-and-runs in Cardiff.

Matthew Tvrdon's eight-mile "journey of mayhem" killed Karina Menzies and injured 17 as he used his van as a "weapon" targeting women and children.

A year on from the incident, Jill White told BBC Radio Wales she had undergone 13 operations and was in a wheelchair.

She had been at a petrol station when Tvrdon randomly attacked.

Tvrdon admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act in June this year.

He also admitted seven counts of attempted murder and other charges including three counts of grievous bodily harm with intent.

On 19 October 2012, Ms White had been shopping with her mother, her grand-daughter and daughter, and was filling her car with fuel at the Asda supermarket petrol station in Leckwith when Tvrdon pulled up next to her.

He left his van and randomly started hitting the side of her vehicle with a steering lock, which led to Ms White's mother suffering a heart attack in the car.


"Apparently, I came round the front of the car to look at the damage," she said.

"I must have said to him 'What do you think you're doing' and he put his foot down and drove straight at me.

Image caption Matthew Tvrdon is detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act

"I went backwards... he knocked me straight unconscious. He drove over my body.

"My daughter was screaming and running after him. He stopped because people were beeping their horns and trying to stop him from getting out of the garage. He reversed back, my body dropped, and then he drove back over me again."

She described how she was still under the van and being dragged out to the main junction as her daughter chased after the van screaming 'my mother's under the van'.

"He stopped at the junction and my body dropped and my daughter thought I was dead. She was on top of me seeing if I was alive, screaming.

"He came back at the two of us and drove over the both of us, then dragged the both of our bodies a further 50 yards, I think it was."

Ms White and her daughter were the last people to be injured during the day's events before police were able to stop and arrest Tvrdon at nearby Llandough.

She said her life would never be the same again.

Last Saturday a service took place at the Church of the Resurrection in Ely to mark the first anniversary of Karina Menzies's death and the series of hit-and-runs.

Ms Menzies, 31, was killed outside Ely fire station while on a school run with two of her three children.

A memorial party was held last Friday evening by Ms Menzies's sister Samantha who is now bringing up the girls.

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