Teenagers were 'crying and screaming' when their car smashed into tent

Pictured: Father crushed by a car which smashed into tent where his baby was sleeping ‘at 80mph’ as witness claims teenagers in vehicle were ‘screaming’ and driver had ‘only passed his test ten days ago’

  • A speeding car ‘veered off the road’ into a campsite in Pembrokeshire, Wales
  • Nine people were injured after the car ploughed into a tent at around 80-90mph

A holidaymaker crushed by a car that slammed at ’80mph’ into a tent where his baby was sleeping can today be pictured for the first time. 

Dan Staniforth was next to the tent where his two-year-old boy Sonny was fast asleep when a speeding car crashed into them. The toddler was protected by his travel cot and escaped the ‘carnage’ completely unharmed.

But keen surfer Mr Staniforth, 44, suffered life-changing crush injuries and was airlifted to hospital where he is in a ‘serious’ condition. His partner Emma Lou Lewis was treated in hospital for an arm injury but later released.

Friends say the young driver had passed his test 10 days before the crash. The car was spotted driving at speed before it ‘catapulted from the road’ and landed 328ft from where it started to brake.

Campers heard the car flip over before rushing to help and spotted teenage girls crying inside.

Investigators were pictured at the site of the crash in the Newgale Campsite in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Emergency services were called to the scene at around 10.40pm on Saturday

A car appeared to be travelling ‘up to three times the speed limit’ when it ploughed into a family’s tent and injured nine campers, it was claimed last night

Mr Staniforth and his family were staying at a packed campsite in Newgale, Pembrokeshire, on Saturday night when the blue Ford Fiesta went out of control.

Sonny was fast asleep in the tent which was flattened by the impact but the camp site owner said he was protected by his cot.

His parents were socialising with other campers at a tent just 10 feet away when the Fiesta with seven people inside crashed into them.

Two surgeons who were camping on the site gave medical help until paramedics arrived on the scene.

Dan was flown by Coastguard helicopter 100 miles to the University Hospital of Wales where he underwent surgery.

His family, who run a catering supply business in the Welsh capital, are at his bedside.

Another eight casualties were taken to hospital in Haverfordwest, Carmarthen and Swansea.

Police are investigating the accident at 10.30pm on Saturday night and appealing for dashcam footage of the Ford Fiesta which was travelling on the A487 between Haverfordwest and St Davids.

Locals claimed the driver only passed his test in June and was hitting speeds of 80mph as it left the village of Roch on its way to the seaside village of Newgale.

The narrow road running between the beach and the campsite has a 30mph limit and is known as an accident blackspot.

A shattered wing mirror at the site of the crash in Pembrokeshire 

Mike Harris, (pictured) who runs the campsite with his wife Clare, claimed the Ford was going ’80 or 90mph in a 30mph’ zone

Other campers at the scene claimed three passengers in the car ran off leaving the driver trapped inside the wreckage.

Camp site owner Mike Harris has given CCTV of the crash to police.

He said: ‘The car literally came onto the campsite rolled over the tent and landed on top of a family who were enjoying themselves.

‘It was the same family who had a baby in the tent at the time. So the immediate concern for everybody was what happened to the baby?

‘When they went into the tent, the cot was there and it had managed to protect the baby which is a miracle.’

Camper Fern Wilson said: ‘We helped move the car over – there were a lot of young people in the car.

‘There were girls crying and screaming in massive shock, that was the scariest thing.

‘A lot of people came to help, there were first aiders and a nurse, everyone pulled in to help which was great to see.’

Peter Morgan, councillor for Newgale, said: ‘It’s a miracle no one was killed – the car must have been going at speed to fly off the road and hit the tent.

‘There were two surgeons and other medics camping on the site so they ran to help and may have saved lives.

‘It’s a well-run camp site and very popular with families and surfers at this time of year.’

Holidaymakers had gathered to socialise outside when horrified staff heard ‘screaming’ at Newgale Campsite, which borders the A487 in Pembrokeshire, west Wales

Hundreds of campers packed up and left the site on Sunday as Dyfed-Powys Police sealed off the crash scene for their investigation.

Crash investigators are trying to trace the movements of the Fiesta on the A487 leading up to the crash.

A spokesman said: ‘At shortly after 10.30pm several calls were made to emergency services reporting the one-car collision at Newgale Campsite.

‘The blue Ford Fiesta, which contained a number of occupants, is believed to have been travelling from the direction of Roch in the St Davids direction when it lost control and veered off the road.

‘It crashed into the campsite, colliding with a number of people and a tent, injuring nine, including passengers in the car.

‘The injuries sustained by two of them are described as serious. They remain in hospital at this time.’

The road was closed to allow investigations and reopened at around 7.45am today.

The spokesman added: ‘We are especially interested in any dash-cam footage or doorbell footage which may have captured the vehicle being driven from Roch to the scene of the collision at Newgale.’

Fern Wilson and Joshua Tam were staying at the campsite at the time of the crash. 

Mr Tam, a firefighter, said: ‘We were setting up a space where we could treat the people. I helped, I ran over there. There were three or four people already doing it.

‘I got there because I’m a firefighter so I was just trying to help do what I could.’

The pair said a little girl was injured after the car hurtled through the field on Saturday night at around 10.30pm.

Ms Wilson said: ‘We heard the crash pretty much as it happened. Everyone got there pretty quick. Joshua helped move the car over.

‘There was a little girl that got hurt and, obviously, there was a lot of young kids in the car even.

‘I mean they were all young girls and they were pretty much in shock, so they were crying and screaming as well. I think that was the scariest thing.

‘A lot of people came to help. There was a lot of first aiders around the camp. There was a nurse that was on site, so everyone managed to help them pretty quickly.

‘It was scary but everyone pulled in to help, which was really great to see.’

Police seized footage of the crash. Friends in nearby Haverfordwest say the driver had passed his test in June and had taken the girls out on Saturday night before tragedy struck.

One said: ‘No one really knows what happened but everyone is very shocked.’

Holidaymakers had gathered to socialise outside when horrified staff heard ‘screaming’ when the car left the road on the A487 near Newgale.

Campsite owner Mike Harris said it was going ‘three times the speed limit’ when it veered off the road.

Mr Harris said: ‘I didn’t realise a car could go so fast down the road.

‘It catapulted from the road because of the speed he was going, over the ditch separating the campsite and main road.

‘It landed about 100m from where the driver started braking.

‘It turned three full turns and landed on its wheels. It rolled through a tent belonging to a family. The toddler was in a cot.’

Mr Harris told Sky News that he believes the car was going about three times the speed limit when it struck the tent.

‘I didn’t realise a car could go so fast down the road,’ he said.  

The A487 road between Roch and St Davids on the western Welsh coast was closed overnight while investigations took place. The cordon was lifted on Sunday morning

He alleged the Ford was going ’80 or 90mph in a 30mph’ zone. He alleged the vehicle ‘catapulted from the road because of the speed’ at which the driver was going.

‘It catapulted from the road because of the speed he was going, over the ditch separating the campsite and main road and landed about 100m from where the driver started braking,’ Mr Harris claimed.

‘It turned three full turns and landed on its wheels. It rolled through a tent belonging to a family. 

‘The vehicle then rolled and rested on top of three people.

‘The campers managed to lift the vehicle 90 degrees to tilt it forward and rest on its side. They freed the three people.’

A police spokeswoman said: ‘Dyfed-Powys Police is continuing to investigate the incident which occurred in Newgale on Saturday evening, 12th August 2023.

‘Three people currently remain in hospital. No arrests have been made at this time.

‘We are aware of the considerable amount of interest in this incident which is understandable.

‘The investigation team continues to engage with witnesses to establish the full circumstances of what happened.

‘We would respectfully request that speculation is minimised and that anyone with information that may assist the investigation contacts police.’

Anyone with information should contact police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101, quoting reference DP-20230812-402. Tips can also be passed on anonymously via Crimestoppers.

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