ONE of the survivors of a fatal crash which saw three people found dead almost 48 hours after the incident said he has “only just found out what happened”.

Eve Smith and Darcy Ross, both 21, and Rafel Jeanne, 24, died in the collision, which happened on the A48 near the St Mellons area of Cardiff in the early hours of Saturday, March 4.

Shane Loughlin, 32, and Sophie Russon, 20, who were also travelling in the Volkswagen Tiguan, remain in a critical condition in hospital.

The car was found shortly after midnight on Monday, March 6.

On Friday, March 10, a friend posted an update on Mr Loughlin’s Facebook page on his behalf.

It read: “Only just found out what happened just want to say sorry to everyone and Thank you everyone who helped with the search party and thank you for everyone wishing me well. I’ll be back soon love you all.

“RIP Rafel, Eve & Darcy.

“Can’t believe it. Gutted is an understatement. Heart goes out to all families and friends of the people that has passed.

“Long way to recovery mentally and physically but we’ll get there.”

Mr Loughlin, Mr Jeanne, and a sixth person – 27-year-old Joel Lia – met Ms Smith, Ms Ross and Ms Russon on a night out at The Muffler social club in Maesglas on Friday night, and the group then drove back to a caravan park in Porthcawl.

They were last spotted at 2am on Saturday, when Mr Lia was dropped off in Pentwyn, Cardiff, just two miles from the scene of the tragedy.

Police have now confirmed they believe the crash happened at 2.03am on Saturday, March 4.

The five people in the car were not discovered until 12.15am on Monday, March 6.

Families of the crash victims have paid tribute to their loved ones, with Eve Smith’s father Everton Smith saying his life “has changed forever”.

Ms Russon's mother Anna Certowicz has spoken of how her daughter was left lying next to the bodies of her friends for 46 hours.

Speaking to The Sun, Ms Certowicz said: “She’s in shock and has a lot of injuries. You can't recognise her.

“She was in the car with bodies all around her, that’s a lot for anybody.”

Ms Russon fractured her skull, broke her neck and spine and suffered a bleed on the brain.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is investigating after the two police forces who dealt with the search referred themselves to the police watchdog.

Detectives investigating the collision are now appealing for anyone who was in the area or who may have been travelling east along the A48 Eastern Avenue between Cardiff and the St Mellons off slip which links to the roundabout of the A48, B4487 and Cypress Drive (near Blooms Garden Centre) who may have dashcam footage from this time to come forward.

They also want to speak to anyone who was travelling in this area and may have seen the Volkswagen Tiguan.

Assistant chief constable Mark Hoborough, of Gwent Police, said: “This is an extremely sad situation, and our thoughts are with the families and friends of each of the young people involved.

"We will continue to support the investigation and would ask members of the public to refrain from speculation during this period."