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Elber praised for ‘dignity and courage’ after horror crash killed all her family

A WOMAN whose entire family was wiped out by a suicidal taxi driver has pleaded for greater garda training and road safety resources so that no other family endures her nightmare.

Elber Twomey made the appeal as a Cork coroner paid tribute to her incredible “courage and dignity” in facing up to “an unspeakable tragedy”.

Ms Twomey (38) lost her husband Con (39), her son Oisin (16 months) and her unborn baby daughter, Elber Marie when Polish taxi driver Marek Wojciechowski deliberately drove into their car in Devon during a UK holiday two years ago.

The taxi driver, who police were seeking as a high-risk person after he left a suicide note, was killed almost instantly in the July 6, 2012 collision.

swerved

He had deliberately swerved across a busy dual-carriageway and collided head-on with the Twomeys’ car.

Oisin died a short time later in nearby Derriford Hospital. Doctors were also unable to save Ms Twomey’s unborn baby, Elber Marie. Mr Twomey died from his injuries 10 months later.

His heartbroken wife has now dedicated her life to campaigning so no other family suffers her loss.

“This has been a very difficult two years for me,” she said.

“I am grateful to all those including politicians, charities, the media and ordinary Irish and British people who have helped support my campaign for greater road safety.

“I especially wish to thank my family and Con’s family for their incredible support.”

“I also wish to remember my beauties’ - Con, Oisin and Elber Marie - as they were before that July day.

“To suitably remember them, we have organised a special remembrance event, a remorial’ so to speak, in north Cork on June 6 to 8 which I would urge people to support in whatever way they can.”

The remorial’ will involve a host of family-friendly events including a fun run, table quiz, charity cycle, children’s novelty games and a memorial Mass.

Cork coroner Dr Myra Cullinane paid tribute to the bravery Elber has shown. “People have been greatly moved by the unspeakable tragedy that has befallen you... the loss of your beautiful family,” she said.

“I wish to place on record that you have shown great dignity and courage, and I commend you on your selfless work in the area of suicide risk awareness.”

Critical

Mr Twomey’s inquest was heard in Cork because, after sustaining critical injuries in the Devon collision, he was transferred back to Cork University Hospital (CUH) on August 8, 2012 for treatment.

However, the former Meelin GAA star never regained consciousness. He died on May 3, 2013 due to intestinal failure and severe brain injuries.

hnews@herald.ie


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