A CLOSE friend of one of the four teenagers who lost their lives in a car crash in North Wales narrowly avoided the devastating incident, having withdrawn from the camping trip at the last minute. The victims, Jevon Hirst (16), Harvey Owen (17), Wilf Fitchett (17), and Hugo Morris (18), were en route to Snowdonia when their Ford Fiesta veered off the A4085 in Garreg, plummeting into a water-filled ditch. The overturned vehicle went unnoticed for two days until a vigilant binman spotted it from his refuse truck.
The shocking news reverberated through the market town of Shrewsbury, where the teenagers were diligently pursuing their A-Levels at Shrewsbury College. A poignant memorial event at Shrewsbury Abbey saw many students paying their respects by lighting candles.
Among those mourning the loss is a 19-year-old friend of Hugo, who had initially planned to join the ill-fated camping trip, as disclosed by a co-worker of the 18-year-old. Mimi Ropotka, who shared a workplace with Hugo at Pret a Manger, revealed that the friend had opted for a different camping holiday at the eleventh hour. Describing the unnamed teenager as being in a “really bad way,” she conveyed his disbelief at the sudden and tragic loss of his friend.
The devastating impact of the tragedy extended to local businesses, with both Pret a Manger and Dough and Oil pizza restaurant, where Harvey worked part-time, closing in memory of the vibrant and promising students. Colleagues and bosses alike shared heartfelt tributes, expressing profound sorrow at the loss of such remarkable individuals.
Harvey, with aspirations of opening a bakery inspired by his mother, Crystal, who owns a cupcake shop in town, was remembered as “funny, gentle, and bright.” His grief-stricken mother described living in a nightmarish reality.
The teenagers, last seen on a Sunday afternoon, were presumed to be on the A4085 from Harlech towards the mountains of Snowdonia National Park when the tragic accident occurred near the village of Garreg. Witness accounts from a shopkeeper in a Harlech Premier Foods shop painted a picture of the teenagers appearing “happy, laughing, and joking around” before heading towards Snowdonia. Concern arose when family members reported no contact with the teenagers, prompting a major search by North Wales Police, culminating in the discovery of the car on Tuesday.
As investigations persist, police teams, including an underwater unit, are diligently scouring the area for clues regarding the circumstances leading to the car leaving the road. Superintendent Owain Llewellyn expressed gratitude to the public for their patience and understanding during this extremely difficult time, emphasizing the ongoing thoughts with the grieving families.