‘KA­RINA’S VAN KILLING CHANGED EV­ERY­THING’

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - JAMES McCARTHY Re­porter james.mccarthy@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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