‘KARINA’S VAN KILLING CHANGED EVERYTHING’
T HE sister of a mum mowed down by a psychotic van driver has described how her family is still suffering psychologically.
Next month will mark the five-year anniversary of Karina Menzies’ death.
The mother of three died at the hands of schizophrenic Matthew Tvrdon, who, on October 19, 2012, also injured 20 other pedestrians as he smashed into them in his white van as they walked in residential areas of Cardiff, including Ely and Leckwith.
Speaking ahead of the anniversary, Sam Jones said the entire experience, especially raising Karina’s children, remains “a rollercoaster of emotions”.
The 30-year-old, who works at Cardiff High School, said: “It’s been stressful, although it has been rewarding as well, watching the kids grow up and achieve. But it is sad because I should not be doing this, and would not be if my sister was here.”
Sam had to take on a host of extra responsibilities after Karina died.
“It can change your whole life in terms of everyday stuff,” Sam said.
“In my case I have other kids to look after, I had to change myy job, I had to change everything.
“I have more hospital appointppointments to go to because Sophie, hie, the eldest, has a disability and she is back and forth to the hospital.
“In the immediate aftermath math Tiana had a broken leg and pelvis. And it has had an effect on their behaviour because it has as impacted on how they think k and feel.”
Ellie and Tiana were with their mum when she was hit by Tvrdon’s van. Sophie was on holiday in Florida at the time of the tragedy.
“They now have an attitude that the world is not fair,” Sam said. “And that is not how childhood should be. You should be protected as a child and able to flourish and explore the world.”
Sam was speaking as new figures showed that hit-and-run incidents are on the rise in Wales.
One victim was killed and more than 200 injured in hit-and-run incidents last year.
There were 6,853 road casualties in Wales last year, 207 of which were h i t - a n d -runs – an increase of 11 on 2015. Of the 207, 128 were pedestrians while 61 were in cars. Another 18 fell into other categories in the government figures. Road safety charity Brake has been campaigning for justice for hit-andrun victims. It has called for a new charge of “failing to stop in a fatal or serious injury crash”. Spokesman Mike Bristow said: “It is shocking to hear of this rise in hit hitand-run collisions in Wales. “Fleeing the scene following a collision is an abhorrent crime, and can potentially be the difference between life and death, if urgent medical attention is required and not sought. “W e need t o make it clear that illegal, reckless driving will not be tolerated.
“We’re calling for tougher penalties, to act as a serious deterrent to potentially lethal hit-and-run drivers.
“Loopholes that allow drivers to flee the scene and receive lesser charges must also be closed, to end incentives for criminal drivers to avoid justice.”
The minimum penalty for a hit and run is a traffic ticket.
In o other cases a driver can be subject to serious criminal charges.
AGA Gwent Police spokesman said: “Failu “Failure to stop at the scene of an accide accident is a criminal offence. We take hit-and-runh incidents very seriously and carry out extensive investigation gations to ensure offenders are broug brought to justice.”
Dyf Dyfed-Powys Police said they take hit-an hit-and-runs “seriously”.
“Fa “Failing to report an accident is a crime and will be investigated by police police. We would encourage anyone who w witnesses a crash, especially a fail-to fail-to-stop accident, to take a note of the re registration plate or description of the vehicle and driver if possible.”
Follow us on Twitter @WalesonSunday Facebook.com/WalesOnline Mother-of-three Karina Menzies, right, was killed during a rampage by van driver Matthew Tvrdon in Cadiff five years ago. Left, Tvrdon’s van was stopped by police after a dramatic chase
Karina’s sister Sam, centre, with Karina’s children Sophie, Tiana and Ellie and Laura Williams (Sam’s sister and the children’s other aunt) in 2016
Van driver Matthew Tvrdon