Police release full details of 14 victims of hit-and-run rampage through Cardiff that killed woman, 32

Witnesses say van deliberately targeted pedestrians in five different locations

Lewis Smith,Benjamin Wright,Steve Anderson
Saturday 20 October 2012 13:19

A disabled child whose mother was killed in a horrific hit-and-run rampage is on a "dream holiday" in Florida and is unaware that she has died, it has been revealed.

Karina Menzies, 32, was mown down outside a fire station near her home in Cardiff.

Thirteen other people, seven of them children, were injured in the series of hit-and-run collisions in South Wales yesterday as a driver went on the rampage.

Police are continuing to question a 31-year-old man on suspicion of murder as well as investigating reports that he deliberately knocked people down in the Welsh capital. Eyewitnesses said it looked as if the van was deliberately driven at pedestrians in at least five different locations of Cardiff. One woman was run over twice.

A white van was later recovered by police and a 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder.

South Wales Police were last night trying to piece together the "series of events" the half-hour rampage and to establish what sparked it.

Superintendent Julian Williams described the rampage as "a tragedy" and said: "Whether the actions were deliberate or reckless is a matter for the enquiry." The condition of the injured was unclear last night but some were feared to be in critically ill.

The 32-year-old woman who died was struck by the van outside a fire station on Cowbridge Road West in the Ely area of Cardiff. She was named locally as Karina Menzies.

In one attack a couple pushing a pram were targeted and the baby was tossed into the air by the impact, landing several feet away.

In another, the driver got out of the vehicle to club two men with a steering wheel lock at a petrol station forecourt before getting back into the van and driving off, running over two women over as he sped away.

One of the seven child victims was a girl aged about 10 who was run down outside a group of shops. Sub-postmaster Shady Taha said: "I heard a bang. I looked out and across the road. One girl was on the floor and the other girl was screaming."

Dr Elizabeth Haywood, whose husband is the former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, was at the Asda petrol station when she saw the van driver walk back to his vehicle after attacking the two men with a steering wheel lock.

"The white van that had been sitting there for a while suddenly sped off, screeching and with smoke coming from the tyres. The next thing I heard was a scream and a thump. There was a woman who was in front of his van who was hitting the front of his bonnet because he had hit her. She then went under the wheels of his van.

"So we were all screaming 'back-up, back up'. So he did back up and then he ran over her again.

"Then this other woman came up to the van to get him to stop and he ran over her as well and he dragged them both to the corner of the roundabout and out into the road."

Police this morning released full details of the 14 victims at the five different crash sites.

At Crossways, Ely, a 9-year-old boy suffered arm and leg injuries while a girl, 8, received a head injury. A 29-year-old woman was injured but was still able to walk.

At the Reptile Centre in Ely a 22-year-old woman received leg injuries, a 2-year-old girl suffered facial injuries and 24-year-old man suffered minor injuries.

Outside Ely Fire Station, where Karina Menzies was killed, a 23-month-old-girl was also hurt and an 8-year-old suffered head injuries.

A 32-year-old man suffered multiple injuries outside the Grand Avenue Shops, where two girls, aged 10 and 12, were also hit, suffering arm and back injuries.

At Leckwith Retail Park a 27-year-old woman suffered head injuries and a second woman, 49, suffered other multiple injuries.

Anyone with any information about the incidents is urged to contact police on 01656 655555.