A woman who lost her family in a deadly car crash has reiterated her calls for police officers to be trained in dealing with suicidal drivers.
In 2012 Elber Twomey was five months pregnant with her daughter and had travelled to Devon for a holiday with her husband, Con, and their year-old son, Oisín.
Tragically, what should have been a happy family holiday was the start of a nightmare:
“We had literally six magical days and day seven was a bit like this morning - it was wet and miserable and we took Little Man for a swim and we ended up in the pool,” Elber recalled to Newstalk Breakfast.
“And we were headed out to lunch and we were going for a little play in an indoor play centre and the next thing I remember is it was almost the end of July.
“In the meantime on our way we had been involved in a serious road traffic collision with a suicidal driver Mark and Mark at the time been followed by the police.
“He crashed into us and it claimed the first the Little Man and Little Lady and left Con and myself fighting for our lives.
“I woke up at the end of July to be told what had happened and needless to mention it was like waking up in a nightmare.”
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After a month in hospital in Britain they travelled by air ambulance back to Cork and, although Elber was able to check herself out as a patient, Con never left and passed away the following May.
Ever since then Elber has dedicated herself to campaigning for suicide awareness in the hope that better training might mean another family is spared the pain she lives with every day:
“He [the police officer] was never trained in suicidal awareness,” Elber explained.
“Obviously, suicidal drivers thanks be to God are not a very common thing but I would have started my campaign then [for the police] to at least have the basic training and then I did a few presentations with the police.”
— Elber Twomey (@elbertwomey) May 12, 2022
And her hard work has paid off; police forces have “really took onboard the stuff I said” and officers who undergo Tactical Pursuit Advanced Training are often shown her website.
Furthermore, despite having endured terrible tragedy, Elber feels positive about life:
“I’m good, thank God,” she reflected.
“Obviously they’re in my head every day. If they weren’t there’d be something wrong.”
Main image: View of cars.