'My beauties in heaven are smiling': Cork woman who lost entire family glad police now have suicide training

'My beauties in heaven are smiling': Cork woman who lost entire family glad police now have suicide training

Elber Twomey believes “her beauties” are smiling in heaven because of her success in pushing for suicide training for all police officers. The Cork woman lost her entire family just over seven years ago when a suicidal driver drove into their car during a family holiday in Devon.

Polish taxi driver, Marek Wojciechowski, 26, was being pursued by a police officer when he swerved across the road, hitting the Twomey's car as they travelled back to Ireland.

Elber lost her husband, Con, 39, her son Oisín, 16 months and her unborn baby daughter, Elber Marie, also fondly called 'Little Lady'.

Now all the control room staff at Devon and Cornwall Police are trained in suicide awareness and Elber is glad that her loved ones did not die without leaving their mark behind.

Devon and Cornwall Police had a mental training programme in place for some time but Elber wanted them to be trained in suicide awareness too.

“It is something I have always pushed for. No doubt my beauties in heaven are smiling,” said Elber.

It may not have been done because of us but I honestly believe, Con, Baba Oisín and Little Lady are a tiny bit involved and that our tragic crash on July 6, 2012, has been an influence.

Elber was one of several family members who helped the Road Safety Authority remind people that this Sunday is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

“You would hope that more people would become aware of tragedies that occur every day on our roads and how families are left broken,” said Elber.

Also at the event was Lisa Maher, who believes there has to be a reason why her father, Eugene, died in a hit-and-run four years ago.

“Some good has to come from it. I just can't let him go and just accept it,” said Lisa, who was with her mother, Marie.

Eugene, a 62-year-old father of two from Dublin, was killed as he crossed the Clontarf Road on June 15, 2015. Marie said they wanted to know that there were families behind road traffic statistics and that they grieved for a long time afterwards.

“It is four years now and that does not seem long at all. To us it is like yesterday,” said Marie.

It was harder now because the reality of their loss was setting in.

“I still have his clothes in the wardrobe at home even though I know he (Eugene) is not coming back but that reality is difficult to accept,” said Marie.

Since 1959 when records began over 24,000 people have been killed on Irish roads, the equivalent of the town of Carlow. RSA chairperson, Liz O'Donnell, said it was the 13th year they had remembered those who had died in road collisions, their families and those injured.

She urged those who could not attend the many events taking place throughout the country to promise to take greater care on the road out of respect for the victims and their families.

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