Cardiff van rampage leaves city in shock

Police hold man, 31, and appeal for witnesses after woman is killed and 14 others injured

Detectives were questioning a 31-year-old man last night on suspicion of killing the mother of a disabled child and injuring 14 others in a hit-and-run rampage in Cardiff.

As they continued their investigation, police also appealed for anyone who saw a black Renault Clio driving on the wrong side of the road shortly before events unfolded. It was unclear last night whether the car was linked to later incidents in which a white van careered into pedestrians, killing one of them.

The dead woman was named yesterday as Karina Menzies. She was walking her two young daughters home from school when witnesses saw a white van career on to the pavement straight at her. The 32-year-old was mown down outside a fire station in the Ely area of west Cardiff, close to her home.

Yesterday, scores of people paid their respects to Ms Menzies on social networking sites, and floral tributes were laid where she was killed. The local Labour MP, Kevin Brennan, said the mother of three had been killed while her disabled daughter was on a "dream holiday" in Florida. "It's absolutely shocking what has happened, and the fact that someone has appeared to use a vehicle as a weapon. Karina was a well-liked mother," he said.

Detective Superintendent Paul Hurley, of South Wales Police, confirmed yesterday that the driver of the vehicle had also assaulted people with a weapon, believed to be a steering-wheel security lock. The officer said: "We are aware the suspect assaulted people outside his vehicle." He said police were "looking to identify and recover" the weapon.

The terrifying scenes that unfolded on Cardiff's streets began at around 3.30pm on Friday afternoon when police received calls about a Clio car being driven on the wrong side of a road. This was soon followed by reports of collisions in several locations, including Grand Avenue, Cowbridge Road West and the Leckwith Retail Park in west Cardiff.

Witnesses said they saw "at least seven ambulances" and scores of police vehicles in the Ely area at the height of the incidents.

Sub-postmaster Shady Taha, 29, had served two young girls moments before one of the incidents, on Grand Avenue, Ely. "I suddenly heard a bang. I looked out and, across the road, one girl was on the floor and the other girl was screaming. I heard a van speed off but I did not see it."

According to police, of the nine casualties still receiving treatment last night, two remained in a critical condition in intensive care and five were children, with the youngest reported to be just two years old.

Det Supt Hurley appealed for any witnesses who saw the white van or the Renault Clio to come forward.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food