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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Young mum who lost entire family in crash launches memorial

Elber Twomey from Cork
Elber Twomey from Cork
Elber and Conor Twomey with baby Oisin
The late Con Twomey with his wife Elber.
Elber Twomey, her husband Con, and the couple's son Oisin.
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A YOUNG mother who had her entire family wiped out in a UK crash caused by a suicidal taxi driver has launched a unique family event to commemorate them.

Broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and musician Liam O’Connor have agreed to help Elber Twomey (38) with her special ‘remorial’ event from June 6-8 in her native north Cork.

Elber lost her son, Oisin (16 months) and her unborn baby girl, Elber Marie, in a head-on collision in Torquay, Devon on July 6 2012 after Polish taxi driver, Marek Wojciechowski (26), deliberately rammed their Volkswagen Golf.

Elber’s husband, Con (38), died almost 10 months later from the terrible injuries he sustained in the collision.

The school teacher has now dedicated her life to a road safety campaign aimed at ensuring no other family suffers her loss – and to remembering her beloved husband and children.

“I loved being ‘Baba’ Oisín’s mom and I loved being Connie’s wife,” Elber said.

The young woman said the unique ‘remorial’ event is aimed at remembering her three loved ones who died that awful day in July 2012.

“It is basically about remembering them…about ensuring that our beauties are never forgotten and will be remembered with the love that they so deserve,” she said.

The ‘remorial’ event will take place in Newmarket and Meelin in north Cork from June 6-8 and will involve a host of family-friendly events ranging from a fun run to table quiz and from a charity cycle to children’s novelty events.

Con, Oisin and Elber-Marie will also be the focus of a special memorial Mass.

Elber is also continuing her campaign for greater resources and training for gardai to help them handle similar high-risk situations.

The UK police are now changing their operating procedures following the Devon crash.

Elber has already met with Transport Minister Leo Varadkar over her call for road safety changes here.

Rank-and-file gardai as well as the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have agreed to examine Elber’s proposals for greater safety training and resources for gardai.

“This is a mission very close to my heart. I don’t want any other family to end up with my life or indeed the life of poor Marek’s wife,” she added.

Tragically, the Irish family was on their return journey to Ireland having enjoyed a brief UK holiday when the collision occurred.

Con had insisted that a UK holiday was safer and preferable to flying overseas to a sun holiday given that Elber was five months pregnant with their second child.

Mr Wojciechowski had left a suicide note and circled a busy dual-carriageway 12 times before ramming the Twomey’s car just seconds after a police constable had tried to pull him over.

The Twomey family had no chance of avoiding the taxi driver in his speeding Vauxhall Vectra.


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