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Mother of one of four boys killed in Snowdonia says ‘nightmare will never end’

Tributes pour in after bodies of four teenagers pulled from overturned car found submerged in water on Tuesday

Tara Cobham
Wednesday 22 November 2023 17:22 GMT
Four bodies found in search for teenagers missing in north Wales, police announce

The heartbroken mother of one of the four boys whose bodies were pulled from the wreck of a submerged car has said her “nightmare will never end” amid fears the teenagers lay undiscovered for days.

A major police search operation was launched on Tuesday after Harvey Owen, Jevon Hirst, Wilf Fitchett and Hugo Morris were last heard from on Sunday morning following a camping trip to Snowdonia National Park in north Wales amid fears the teenagers lay undiscovered for days.

Among their concerned parents was Crystal Owen, the mother of Harvey, who wrote on social media of how she was “frantic with worry”, after believing they had been staying at a friend’s grandfather’s house, not on a camping trip. She spoke to the BBC as she was travelling from their hometown of Shrewsbury on Tuesday morning, telling the broadcaster she was on her way to help with the search.

The heartbroken mother of Harvey Owen (pictured) whose body was pulled from the wreck of a submerged car has said her ‘nightmare will never end’ (North Wales Police/PA Wire)

However, the first piece of devastating news broke when North Wales Police announced they had found the teenagers’ silver Ford Fiesta. The car appeared to have left the road on the A4085 at Garreg, near Tremadog, and was found overturned and partially submerged in water.

Then, at 4:30pm on Tuesday, North Wales Police confirmed four bodies had been recovered from inside the vehicle.

Clockwise from top left: Wilf Henderson, Hugo Morris, Jevon Hirst and Harvey Owen were last seen travelling in a Silver Ford Fiesta on Sunday in the Harlech/Porthmadog area (PA)

As tributes poured in from across their community in Shropshire, Harvey’s devastated mother again posted on social media, her worry replaced by a nightmare. She wrote: “I feel like I’m in a nightmare I wish I could wake up from, but I’m not. I just wanted to say I do appreciate people’s kindness, but no amount of messages is going to help me overcome this. Nothing will make this nightmare go away.”

Superintendent Owain Llewellyn said searches of the area where the car was found were continuing, including the recent deployment of underwater specialists. He added the road would remain closed as police investigations remain ongoing.

The scene in Gwynedd, North Wales, where police officers were searching for the four teenage boys (PA)

Ms Owen previously described all four boys, who had been studying for their A-Levels at Shrewsbury College, as “sensitive, intelligent lads”.

Staff at the Dough and Oil restaurant where Harvey worked also paid tribute to him.

In a post on Instagram, they described him as “easy-going, warm, funny, gentle, bright, hardworking and humble”.

Jevon Hirst, who is one of four teenage boys found dead after they vanished on a North Wales camping trip (Supplied)

“He gave it his all, developing a passion for dough and had dreams of one day opening his own bakery,” they said.

“Before shifts, or on his break, you’d often find him listening to music or his head in a book – unusually for his age enjoying the likes of The Doors and Jack Kerouac, always keen to chat and discover something new.

“Our love, thoughts and condolences go out to Harvey’s family and to those of his friends, their lives full of promise cut so tragically short.”

Wilf Fitchett, who is among the teenage boys whose bodies were found following a camping trip to Snowdonia National Park in north Wales (North Wales Police/PA Wire)

Maddi Corfield, the girlfriend of Wilf, posted a tribute online, writing: “I love you so much, I’m going to miss you forever.

“The sweetest and most loving boy I’ve ever known. I hope you know how much I love you, gorgeous. Thank you for all the time you’ve spent with me… thank you for loving me endlessly. I promise I’ll do the same for you, my sweet, sweet angel.”

She added: “I can’t imagine my world without you. I’m missing you so much already, but I am going to enjoy life the way you would’ve wanted, the way that you made me feel.”

A photo of the four teenagers who died in a car crash in in Snowdonia, North Wales, by candles and a sympathy card inside Shrewsbury Abbey (PA)

Her mother, Lisa Corfield, 37, said on Facebook: “I am absolutely heartbroken for Maddi and all of the families involved.

“Wilf was such a lovely, kind lad and treated Maddi in a way only a mother could hope her daughter be treated.”

In the teenager’s hometown of Shrewsbury several churches were open for prayer and reflection, while Wednesday evening’s Christmas lights switch-on had been postponed by the town council.

Huge Morris, who was among the boys whose bodies were found in an overturned car partially submerged in water (North Wales Police)

Superintendent Owain Llewellyn added: “Our thoughts remain with the families at this extremely difficult time, and I would like to thank the public for their continued patience and understanding.”

The area’s MP Daniel Kawczynski said: “On behalf of all constituents in Shrewsbury and surrounding villages, I would like to extend my deepest condolences and sympathy to the families and friends who have been tragically affected by this terrible loss of life.

“The whole country were desperately hoping Jevon, Harvey, Wilf, and Hugo would be found safe and well and this news is devastating.

Trinity Churches Shrewsbury’s memorial space for the boys (PA)

“This news is truly heartbreaking, and my thoughts go out to all those affected by this tragic news.”

Shrewsbury Colleges Group, where the boys were A-level students, offered “deepest condolences to the family and friends” of the teenagers and said it had put in place a range of support measures to help those affected.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sent his condolences to the families, telling the Commons: “I know the thoughts of the whole House will be with the family and friends of the four teenagers who died in a car accident in North Wales.”

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said it was “devastating news” to hear of the boys’ deaths.

“My thoughts are with their family and friends during this incredibly difficult time as they deal with the unimaginable,” he added in a post on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.

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