Where there is life, there is hope.
Sometimes these are only strong words, but not in the case of Elber Twomey.
On May 5, 2019 I was contacted by Becky Newman, Chief Inspector, Police Adviser for the Home Office Security Science & Innovation and Defence Science Technology Laboratory in West Sussex, United Kingdom. It seems Ms. Newman is actively involved with the UK’s police pursuit policies and pursuit reduction activities. It was quite an honor to have a law enforcement professional reach out across the Atlantic.
Ms Newman also connected me with Elber Twomey, a mom and a loving wife.
Elber was living a peaceful existence with her husband Con, her 16-month-old son Baba Oisín, and was happily pregnant with a daughter. But like so many of my posts, this story took an incredibly tragic path in 2012.
In July 2012, the Twomey’s became innocent victims of a man determined to commit suicide in his vehicle. That despondent, speeding person was being followed (chased?) by a police officer.
Baba Oisín and his unborn sister both died within a day of the crash. And if that wasn’t enough, Elber’s husband Con passed away less than a year later, in May 2013.
Elber lost her whole family. Her children. Her soulmate. Yet she has persevered.
I encourage you to read and share Elber’s story. Because her incredible strength and caring shows that indeed, where there is life, there is hope.
Here is a brief summary of the event that changed Elber’s life. https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/crash-couple-had-named-unborn-girl-after-mum-26874473.html
Crash couple had named unborn girl after mum
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.
Now spend some time on Elber’s site and see how, even with all this pain and sorrow, is working to create POSITIVE CHANGES. Amazing.
ORIGINAL WEBSITE IS HERE: https://elbertwomey.com/
My name is Elber Twomey. Myself and my two Beautiful Boys went on holiday in July 2012. We were an extremely happy family treating ourselves to a ten day holiday in Devon. We chose the Devon, the sunny south west for our holiday as personally I was afraid to fly as I was five months pregnant with our beautiful little lady. Taking our car also gave us the luxury of bringing lots of Baba Oisín’s toys etc., so we literally could have a home away from home. We had 6 fabulously carefree days together. Regretfully on July 6th, day seven of our holiday at 2:47 PM tragedy struck us and our wonderful life ended. We were involved in a horrific crash. This poor driver RIP was suicidal and was being followed at speed by a Police Officer. Our tragic crash claimed the lives of our beautiful little man Baba Oisín and his beautiful unborn sister.
If that wasn’t tragic enough it also claimed the life of My Darling Husband and Best Friend Con on May 3rd 2013.
……. I Lost My Everybody!
They had too short a time together
I am Campaigning that All Gardaí/Police Officers will receive specific training in Suicide Awareness & how to Apprehend Suicidal Drivers. It’s to Help the Garda/Police Officer & the Suicidal Soul.
My reason for doing this is to try to help to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening to another innocent family. I want to try to achieve a simple thing, to try to make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen here!!
The following is a link to TV3 Disclosure ‘The Elber Twomey Story’.
This documentary tells our horrific story with regard to the tragic events that led to our crash on July 6th 2012 and indeed how it led me to campaign for suicide awareness training for all our Gardaí, Police Officers in the UK and beyond, and that my hope is that they will address the suicidal driver in this training. My thinking being that this training is to help and support the Garda/Police Officer who is faced with such a stressful situation along with hopefully helping the suicidal person that they may encounter.
It includes great interviews with my brother Tomás, close friends of Con’s, Thomas and Michael, wonderful nurses from Torbay Hospital who looked after us in the aftermath of our crash, along with Chief Superintendent Jim Nye of Devon & Cornwall Police and Superintendent Patrick McCabe from the Garda Training College in Templemore in Ireland.
It also features great moments from our http://www.twomeyfamilyremorial.comweekend which we run in June. The aim of the weekend is to Remember with Love and to Honour Con, Baba Oisín & Baby Elber-Marie & to promote the reality of how precious life is. The funds we raise from our weekend have gone to help the Hospitals who looked after us following the crash, Brú Columbanus in Cork who provide home from home accommodation for relatives of seriously ill patients in the Cork hospitals along with great suicide support groups – Reach Out, 3T’s, Samaritans in Cork & Pieta House.