Widow reveals pain after family were killed when man drove into car
Woman whose husband, son and unborn baby were killed when a suicidal taxi driver crashed into their car reveals she’s FORGIVEN the man who ‘destroyed’ her family after praying for him
- Elber Twomey, 43, from Cork, devastated by crash that killed her family in 2012
- Mother was on holiday when suicidal Marek Wojiechowski, 26, drove into car
- Elber lost her husband Con, son Oisín and her unborn daughter in the tragedy
- Has now revealed she has forgiven Marek and confessed she has prayed for him
- Called the process ‘the first step on the road to finding a sense of peace’
A woman has revealed how forgiving the suicidal taxi driver who deliberately crashed into her family’s car killing her husband, son and unborn baby has allowed her to find peace.
Elber Twomey, 43, from Cork, was five months pregnant and on holiday in Torquay in July 2012 when suicidal taxi driver Marek Wojiechowski, 26, crashed into her family’s car, killing her husband Con, 16-month-old son Oisín and their unborn daughter.
Seven years on, she told BBC5Live that she has now forgiven Marek for his actions and said she’s even prayed for the man who ‘destroyed’ her family.
She said forgiveness has been vital in moving forward from the tragedy, saying: ‘It was the first step on the road to finding a sense of peace.’
Elber Twomey, 43, from Cork, was devastated when a suicidal taxi driver crashed into her family’s car, killing her husband Con, their 16-month-old son Oisín and her unborn daughter
Elber was five months pregnant with her daughter at the time, and was nervous about flying, so the family decided to take a holiday in Torquay for 10 days in July 2012.
She explained: ‘My parents had taken me to Torquay as a kid. It allowed us to take the children’s toys with us and have a home away from home.’
‘We had six magical days and then on our seventh day, irreversible tragedy hit us.’
Elber admitted she could have had no idea the disaster that would befall her family, saying: ‘The day began as beautiful as all the others.’
Elber called her late husband Con her best friend, and said they had been ‘living the dream’ before his tragic death
She revealed: ‘The little man used to love the bath, so we took him to the swimming pool for the first time. We went for our lunch and it was raining, so we were on our way to a play centre when tragedy struck.’
Marek had written a four-page suicide note after splitting up from his wife, who alerted the police.
When they spotted his vehicle, they turned on their siren and flashing lights.
But instead of stopping, witnesses said Marek sped on, veering across into the opposite carriageway and straight at the Twomeys’ car making it ‘impossible’ for the family to avoid him.
Elber revealed she has now been able to forgive Marek Wojiechowski, 26, who killed himself and Elber’s husband Con, 16-month-old son Oisín and her unborn child when he drove into their car
While Elber’s 16-month-old son Oisín died soon after the crash, her husband Con suffered fatal injuries and died ten months later in hospital.
Elber said she was thankful she did not remember anything from the crash, saying: ‘I don’t have any memory of it as I had a head injury. I’m lucky that I don’t remember it.’
At first, she said she did not believe her husband was as badly injured as he was, saying: ‘I strongly believed he would recover and I’d have my best friend back.’
Elber was devastated by what had happened, but credited her ‘remarkable’ parents for ‘rallying around’ and helping her through the tragedy.
Marek, who had left a suicide note at home for his wife, deliberately drove his car into oncoming traffic
She said it took her months to come to terms with what had happened, revealing: ‘I remember the September after the crash, a friend was talking to me about prayer and he asked me, “Do you pray for Marek?”
‘I was highly hurt and cross. How could you expect me to pray for a man who destroyed my family?’
She went on: ‘Two months later I found myself lighting a candle for him. [It was the ] first step on the road to finding a sense of peace.’
Elber said she had gone on to meet with Marek’s widow, and called her ‘a lovely lady.’
Elber said she had been devastated by the crash which ‘destroyed’ her family (pictured, Con with Oisín)
She said: ‘I wanted her to know I didn’t blame her. Husband and wives have arguments all the time, that doesn’t mean that the other person is going to go out the door and do what Marek did.’
‘She was glad to meet me, and see that I didn’t blame her. She was possibly afraid that I did blame her.’
Elber admitted she has no idea how she managed at first, saying: ‘I look back now and wonder how I got out of bed.’
She said: ‘I had married my best friend. We were living the dream.
Since the crash, Elber has raised almost £168,000 for various charities through her own organisation Twomey Family Remorial (pictured, left)
‘I do think the man above sent a lot of good people into my life and helped me to find a good bit of positive out of my charity.’
Since the tragedy, Elber has campaigned for police officers to receive specific training in suicide awareness and how to apprehend suicidal drivers.
And in 2014, Devon and Cornwall police announced a change in their police pursuit policy, so that they now have ‘advance training’.
Elber explained: ‘They can’t begin a pursuit unless they have this advance training. Now they know how to box a car in without any noise or anything – it’s very professionally done and very safely done.’
Elber has campaigned for police officers to receive specific training in suicide awareness and how to apprehend suicidal drivers (pictured, centre)
She also raises money for various organisations through her charity Twomey Family Remorial, which has raised over £168,000 for charities over the past seven years.
She said: ‘You learn to cope better. You learn to cope more. Their legacy is the police training, and we have the Twomey Family Remorial weekend every year.’
Elber added: ‘Because I forgive Marek doesn’t mean what he did was right. He destroyed my family.’
‘But if you’re able to forgive someone, it allows you to do something good out of something dreadful.’
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