Grieving families honor three teenagers who lost their lives in tragic south Wales collision

Callum Griffiths, 19, Jesse Owen, 18, and Morgan Smith, 18, were pronounced dead at the scene of a road traffic collision in a small village in south Wales, while two others sustained life-threatening injuries.

The families of the three teenagers, who died in a collision between a bus and an Audi A1 on Ely Valley Road in Coedely, Rhondda Cynon Taf, have paid tribute to them.

Owen’s family said: “Jesse had an aura that would brighten any room. He was loved by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. He was the most loving, happy, kind, calm, and beautiful person. He would go to any lengths for anyone. He cherished his family and friends and was unwaveringly loyal.”

Smith’s family said: “Morgan is a popular young man, a cherished son, brother, grandson, nephew, and cousin. As a family, we are devastated by Morgan’s loss, and we are left with an irreplaceable void. We love you, our boy.”

Griffiths’ family paid tribute, stating: “Callum had the most radiant smile that could illuminate any room. He was the most precious gift as a son, and our love for him is boundless. Our hearts have shattered into a million pieces, broken beyond repair. He was so loving and had the kindest soul. He has left an unfillable void in our hearts.”

Trained family liaison officers are supporting the affected families during this difficult time, according to Supt Esyr Jones of South Wales police.

Deputy mayor Dan Owen-Jones of Rhondda Cynon Taf council, who arrived at the scene after being alerted by a resident, expressed his deepest sympathies to those affected, stating that the incident has cast a “dark cloud over the community.” He also mentioned that a community center has been opened to provide a safe haven for distressed family and friends at the scene.

The police have requested anyone who witnessed the collision or observed the driving behavior of either vehicle leading up to the collision to contact them. They have also urged individuals with any dashcam or mobile phone footage to quote reference 2300420639 when contacting them.

This incident follows two other severe car crashes in Wales this year. Most recently, four teenagers drowned in an overturned car that skidded off the road and into a ditch in Snowdonia, prompting calls for a graduated driving licensing system to reduce road fatalities. In a separate incident, three individuals died in a crash while two passengers survived near the St Mellons area of Cardiff.

Relatives had reported the occupants missing, and they were found about 46 hours after the crash.

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