The survivor of a crash which killed her husband, mother and two foster sons when their car plunged into a reservoir has spoken for the first time about her grief.
Denise Griffith, 55, could only look on as police and fire rescue teams pulled the bodies of her mother, Phyllis Hooper, 84, her husband, Emyr Griffith, 66, and their two foster children, Peter Briscome and Liam Govier, both 14, from the water near Llanidloes, Powys, Mid Wales.
In a statement issued through Dyfed Powys Police, Mrs Griffith described how “devastated” she and her surviving family members were following the tragedy.
“At this difficult time, we would just like to say we are all extremely devastated by the tragic incident on Wednesday, April 20.
“We are helping each other as a family and would like to thank the whole rescue team for all their hard work and efforts in rescuing our mother, my husband and the two boys. Also the kind words from our neighbours and friends.”
The regular church-goer refused to leave the crash site until her family’s bodies had been recovered and was said to be “deeply traumatised”.
She returned to lay flowers at the scene on Friday when she was also interviewed by specially trained officers.
Mrs Griffith had been at the wheel of the Peugeot 807 when it careered off the B4518 after reportedly being clipped by another car and plunged into the water.
Although she escaped with minor injuries, her passengers could not be saved following the crash at Bwlch y Gle Dam, Clywedog, Llanidloes, on Wednesday afternoon.
A Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley, based in Anglesey, was sent to the scene to aid the rescue operation which also involved two fire crews to the scene and two boats.
A 23-year-old man arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving was named by sources as Gordon Dyche.
Dyche, from the Llanidloes area, was driving a Ford Mondeo which has been held by police for examination. He has been released on police bail as detectives continued their investigation.
The family, from Pontypridd, near Cardiff, had been holidaying together in the Machynlleth area.
Local Bethany Baptist Church pastor Darren Rogers said: “Denise’s mother was a member of the church for many years and the family had a great faith and love for the Lord. That faith will get Denise through the difficult months that lie ahead.
“The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the community are with Denise and her family.”
The area is regarded as a beauty spot but the road has a reputation for being potentially treacherous.
A similar incident happened nearby more than a decade ago when one person died as a car plunged into the reservoir.