A SIXTH passenger has given police a “full account” of his last hours with five friends before a tragic car crash killed three and left two fighting for their lives.
Friend Joel Lia, 27, was dropped off just minutes before the car veered off a busy road into woodland in Cardiff – and was not found for another 46 hours.
Eve Smith, 21, Darcy Ross, 21 and Rafel Jeanne, 24, died in the horror crash.
Meanwhile, Sophie Russon, 20, and Shane Loughlin, 32, are seriously injured in hospital.
Mr Lia has “fully co-operated” with police investigating the tragedy at the end of a night out where the six went to a seaside caravan park after drinking in a nightclub.
Police believe just one vehicle was involved when it crashed off the busy A48 dual carriageway in St Mellons, Cardiff.
Officers are trying to piece together the group’s movements in the build up to the crash and are combing through CCTV and number plate recognition cameras for the white VW Tiguan driven by Mr Jeanne.
The last confirmed sighting was at 2am on Saturday when Mr Lia was dropped off in nearby Pentwyn, Cardiff, just two miles from the scene of the tragedy.
Mr Lia was traced by police investigating the crash.
A source said: “He has been cooperating fully with the officers in the case and is understandably very upset by the events of that night.”
He was with Mr Jeanne, Mr Lia and Mr Loughlin who met Eve, Darcy and Sophie in a social club known as The Muffler in Newport on Friday night.
They later got into the nine-year-old car and drove 38 miles to Porthcawl where Mr Loughlin has a caravan.
There was an alleged noise complaint at the Trecco Bay camp but officers “don’t believe it played any major part” in the later events.
Mr Jeanne was a “very close friend” of Mr Lia and they had been out the night before the tragedy.
Mr Lia told friends he was dropped near his home before they left him to fill up with petrol and head to Newport to take the three girls home.
The five were not discovered in the overturned car until just after midnight on Monday.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hoborough of Gwent Police said: “This is an extremely sad situation, and our thoughts are with the families and friends of each of the young people involved.
“We will continue to support the investigation and would ask members of the public to refrain from speculation during this period.”
Assistant Chief Constable Jason Davies of South Wales Police said: “Our thoughts continue to be with the families and all those affected by this tragic incident.
“Specialist officers are carrying out a detailed investigation to piece together what has happened. Family liaison officers are supporting the families involved at what must be a hugely difficult time for them.”
Gwent Police and South Wales Police will be investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct over their handling of the case.