Woman only survivor of horror crash

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A woman was recovering today after a car crash which killed her husband, mother, and two teenage foster sons.

Denise Griffith, 55, was at the wheel of the Peugeot 807 when it plunged into a reservoir in mid Wales during a family Easter holiday. Mrs Griffith escaped with minor injuries, but the other passengers could not be saved.



The four family members were named by Dyfed Powys Police last night after what was described by community leaders as "a great, great tragedy".



Emyr Glyn Griffith, 66, Phyllis Iris Hooper, 84, Peter Briscome, and Liam Govier, both 14, all died in the smash at Bwlch y Gle Dam, Clywedog, Llanidloes, on the B4518.



Mrs Griffith was said to be "deeply traumatised" and has been aided by police family liaison officers as she deals with the aftermath of the tragedy.



The family, from Pontypridd, near Cardiff, had been holidaying together in the Machynlleth area.



The Peugeot careered off a road on Wednesday afternoon after apparently being "clipped" by another car.



A 23-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, has since been released on police bail.



The man, from the Llanidloes area, was driving a Ford Mondeo which has been held by police for examination.



Neighbours of the family reacted with shock.



"This is so tragic," said John Davies, a neighbour in Barry Road, Pontypridd, where the family lived.



"They were such a nice family, people who would do anything for you. Denise was a foster mother and a lovely woman.



"Her brother Lloyd (Hooper) lives in the same street and was on holiday himself with his wife and three children when this happened.



"He had rented a caravan for a week in Kidwelly and had to leave it to go up to mid Wales.



"I spoke with him briefly in case he had not already heard, but he had.



"He was understandably very upset. Obviously: he had just lost his mother, brother-in-law and the two boys."



He added: "The mother was really nice as well. I knew her as Mrs Hooper, she was old school. A regular church-goer.



"My wife died about two years ago and she would do anything to help out. She was very generous.



"Lloyd is the same. I suffer from cancer and he takes me to hospital and brings me back whenever it is necessary. That is the sort of family they are."



He said the community had been deeply shocked by news of the tragedy but felt sure people would rally round.



"This is the sort of place where people still look after you. We will all make sure that Denise is OK and ensure she has the support she needs."



Community leaders in Pontypridd also expressed their shock at the tragedy - describing Mr and Mrs Griffith as wonderful and loving parents.



Bethany Baptist Church pastor Darren Rogers said: "Denise and Emyr had provided a loving home for a number of children throughout the years and lived for their children, who were loved unconditionally.



"Denise's mother was a member of the church for many years and the family had a great faith and love for the Lord.



"That faith will get Denise through the difficult months that lie ahead.



"The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the community are with Denise and her family."



Gareth Morgan, a Powys County councillor representing the Llanidloes area, also spoke of the shock people are feeling at the deaths.



"This has touched people on many levels even though they were not from the area," he said.



"A place like Llanidloes is very small, close-knit and people have been deeply saddened by the deaths.



"It is a great tragedy to have four people wiped out in this terrible way and for the driver to be left without her husband, mother and teenaged foster boys."



He added: "I was at a seminar in county hall, Llandrindod Wells, today and at the beginning everybody stood for one minute's silence.



"What happened yesterday has touched everybody's hearts. It is a great, great tragedy."



Examination of the scene and the two cars involved in the collision are still being carried out by Dyfed Powys Police.



Despite being regarded as a local beauty spot, the road itself has a reputation for being potentially treacherous.



A similar incident happened close to the same area more than a decade ago when a car plunged into the reservoir, killing one person.

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