Police release timeline of how minutes before fatal Cardiff crash unfolded

South Wales Police sets out timeline of events at press conference

Joe Middleton
Wednesday 24 May 2023 18:17 BST
South Wales Police: Officers seen following boys have not been interviewed under caution

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Louise Thomas

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A timeline revealing how the minutes unfolded before the Cardiff car crash that left two teenagers dead has been revealed by police.

At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, South Wales Police’s deputy chief constable Rachel Bacon said the force was aware of “concerns in the local community” around the timeline of events, so laid out what the force knows so far.

Harvey Evans, 15, died alongside his best friend Kyrees Sullivan, 16, when the electric bike they were riding crashed in the Ely area of Cardiff on Monday, later sparking riots after footage of a marked police van following the teenagers was circulated online.

The timeline released by the force said:

5.59pm: CCTV shows the bike travelling towards the police vehicle in Frank Road, the bike then turns around

6pm: The bike is followed by the police vehicle. Police highlight CCTV images show that there were no blue lights or sirens in use.

6.01pm: Police vehicle is at New Church Ely roundabout and travels through Archer Road, Stanway Road and Howell Road.

6.02.31pm: Police vehicle turns onto Grand Avenue.

6.02.18pm -6.02.41pm: The approximate time of the fatal crash that took place on Snowden Road. At the time of the crash, the police vehicle is in Grand Avenue, half a mile away from Snowden Road, police said.

Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Bacon gives a press conference on the crash in Cardiff
Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Bacon gives a press conference on the crash in Cardiff (Getty Images)

Ms Bacon told the press conference that no police vehicle was on Snowden Road at the time of the collision and that no other vehicles were thought to be involved in the incident.

Addressing the violent scenes on Monday night, she said: “Nothing can excuse the level of violence and disorder which followed in the community. Property was damaged and people were scared in their own homes.”

After the briefing was over, the officer was asked by a reporter why CCTV footage that emerged on Tuesday appears to show a police van following the boys prior to the crash.

Ms Bacon said she wanted to be “as transparent as possible” with the residents of Ely and that the police watchdog, the IOPC, will be looking into if there was a pursuit of the boys.

Ms Bacon said the police van seen driving behind the boys was the first to respond to the collision.

She added that at the time of the crash the van was in Grand Avenue – half a mile away from Snowden Road – and when officers learned of the collision they were on Cowbridge Road West and turned on their blue lights and headed to the scene.

“There was no police vehicle in Snowden Road at the time of the collision and we believe there were no other vehicles involved in the incident,” she said.

“We have made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct to ensure the matter receives independent scrutiny.

“We will provide them with all the information we have, and they will undertake an independent investigation.”

She added that no police officers have been questioned under caution since the disorder in Ely.

It comes as the families of the two boys released tributes to the “best friends” and urged for “peace within the community” after the unrest on Monday.

Harvey’s family said their hearts were “truly broken” over the loss of the “much-loved son, grandson, brother, nephew, friend and boyfriend”. And Kyrees’s family described him as a “loving, caring, handsome young man.”

Harvey (left) and Kyrees (right) when they were younger
Harvey (left) and Kyrees (right) when they were younger (Handout)

Speaking to the BBC, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said he has sorrow for the family and friends of the teenage boys who died in Ely, but also for the wider community.

He said: “My main thoughts were of just profound sorrow for two young lives that have been lost and their families and their friends, and everything it will mean to them.

“But also profound sorrow for that wider community in Ely, which is full of utterly decent, hard-working people that ask only to lead their lives in a way that is peaceful and unmolested, and the reputational damage that is done by the scenes that we saw takes years for a community to recover.”

A car that was set alight in Ely, Cardiff (PA)
A car that was set alight in Ely, Cardiff (PA) (PA Wire)

Mr Drakeford continued to say he is looking to hold a meeting on Friday with public authorities to see if more can be done in the community of Ely following the disorder.

He said: “13,000 people live in Ely, it is larger than almost any Welsh town, so it’s an area which has a huge mix of people in it and what we saw on Monday in no way at all represents the bulk of people who live in that part of Cardiff.

“The events themselves, as we know, will be investigated by police.

“I hope myself to convene a meeting on Friday of main public authorities to look at not what happened on Monday night but the background of precipitating causes to see just what more we can do to give confidence to people on the estate, that the police have the resources they need to respond effectively and promptly to incidents that happen, and whether there is more that can be done to help young people growing up in that area.”

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