Belfast Telegraph

Irish crash couple had named unborn girl after mum

By Ralph Riegel

The couple fighting for their lives after an horrific crash that killed their 16-month-old son had already picked a name for their unborn baby girl, who also died.

The little girl -- who was to be named 'Elber Marie' after her scheduled birth next December -- has been hailed by heartbroken relatives as "an angel".

Con (39) and Elber (36) Twomey remain in a critical condition in a Devon hospital, following the head-on collision outside Torquay, in Britain, last Friday.

A 20-year old Polish man -- who apparently drove directly at high speed into the path of the Twomeys' Volkswagen Golf -- also died.

Devon police have not released the man's name -- although he is now the focus of a probe by its major crime unit.

Toxicology tests on the young Pole and his state of mind at the time are now central to the investigation.

Police are also examining an apparent suicide note left by the young man.

In an emotional statement yesterday, the Twomey family said that only faith and the support of so many people was helping them to cope.

The Twomey's little boy, Oisin (aged 16 months), died in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth just an hour after the collision, despite desperate efforts by doctors to save him. His unborn baby sister died after an emergency operation to deliver her.

Elber Twomey was five months pregnant and she and Con had already picked the name 'Elber Marie' for their unborn baby girl. "She was born an angel," the Twomey family said.

"Con and Elber, a devoted husband and wife, father and mother to Oisin -- the light of their lives -- are in the thoughts and prayers of everyone who knew them.

"The shock of the events last Friday afternoon are still so raw and heartfelt. Con and Elber always came together. The pride they had in the life shared with Oisin was obvious to all.

"The expectation they had of the child that Elber carried adding to this happiness was also so real. As they lie ill, this loss is so hard to take."

Elber's parents, Timmy and Rita, as well as Con's sisters, Michelle and Colette, have maintained a vigil by their hospital bedsides.

Today, Newmarket parish priest, Fr Dave Herlihy, who married the couple, will travel to Derriford to show his support for the Twomey family.

Last night, the Twomeys paid a heartfelt thanks to the community. They said: "Embedded in their home community, Meelin and Rockchapel Parish in north-west Cork, Con and Elber were involved in all aspects of its life, from the GAA to local events. Both were always together attending, supporting their friends, neighbours and relatives.

"Their faith (was) always evident, with a proactive involvement in the church. At this time, we, their family and friends, pray that this faith is rewarded with a real recovery.

"We pray, too, for Oisin and baby Elber Marie, born an angel. We ask for the privacy of the families at this time to be respected, so we can focus on helping them in the long recovery ahead."

The tragedy occurred at 2.45pm last Friday at Hamelin Way outside Torquay, when a Vauxhall Vectra veered directly into the path of the Volkswagen Golf that was carrying the Twomeys.

A police officer witnessed the collision -- though police were not chasing the young Pole's car at the time.

Such was the force of the collision that the main road was closed for over 10 hours and 25 emergency units -- including three air ambulances -- attended the scene.

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