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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 20 October 2020

European award for Cork woman who lost family in crash with suicidal driver

Twomey lost her husband, infant son and unborn daughter when a suicidal driver hit their car during a holiday in Torquay, England, four years ago.

ROAD SAFETY CAMPAIGNER Elber Twomey, whose family were killed in a car crash caused by a suicidal driver, has been honoured for helping to make Europe’s roads safer.

Twomey lost her husband, infant son and unborn daughter when a suicidal driver hit their car during a holiday in Devon England, four years ago.

Twomey’s husband Con lost his fight for life 10 months after the crash, in Torquay. Her little boy Oisín died in surgery immediately after they were hit at speed by Marek Wojciechowski.

Wojciechowski had left a suicide note at home and was being pursued by a police officer in a marked car moments before he swerved into the Twomeys’ car.

Twomey has since worked with An Garda Síochána and UK police to bring about better mental health and suicide awareness.

Last night Tispol, the European network of traffic police, presented Twomey its president’s award at a major road safety conference in Manchester.

Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid of the Garda National Traffic Bureau said her work has had a huge impact across European police forces which will help save lives.

“Her work has resulted in significant improvements to both police pursuit training, and in particular, in relation to how those working in police control rooms manage or deal with such situations,” said Reid, the current Tispol president.

In 2015 she delivered a powerful address to the 2015 Tispol conference, recounting her own tragedy.

Garda authorities have introduced specialised suicide awareness training in the Garda college in Templemore, assisted by Twomey recounting her own experiences.

Chief Superintendant Reid said Elber’s work with Tispol has raised awareness across some 30 European police forces of the need for specialist suicide awareness training.

Read: Cork woman who lost family after crash with suicidal driver says she’ll never return to crash scene

Read: Twomey family tragedy used for garda training

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