Community remembers teenage boys who died in Ely crash with vigil and balloon release in Cardiff

  • Balloons have been released at a vigil held to remember the two teens who died in the crash

Members of the community have come together to remember two teenage boys who died in a crash, which sparked a riot in Cardiff.

Kyrees Sullivan, 16, and 15-year-old Harvey Evans were killed in Ely on Monday evening (22 May) while riding an electric bike.

Violence erupted in the community following claims police chased the teenagers before they crashed, with an independent investigation being launched by the watchdog.

Many carried blue and white balloons or wore white T-shirts with the faces of Kyrees and Harvey printed on them.

Hundreds gathered at the scene of where the crash happened on Snowden Road on Friday evening to pay their respects.

Blue balloons were being left as requested by the family, followed by a minutes silence.

One of Harvey’s uncles said: “We’re all tarred with the same brush here, especially given what happened on Monday.

“But this is the true Ely. Look how many people have turned out to pay their respects.

“The only difference between Monday and today is that the police aren’t here.”

John O’Driscoll, Harvey Evans’s great-uncle, said: “What happened on Monday with the riot, that was wrong.

“The boys were wrong, but it was out of frustration.

Blue flares were set off and hundreds of balloons were released. Credit: PA

“It was because a lot of the boys get abused by the police around here and so that’s why things kicked off,” Mr O’Driscoll said.

“Harvey was my great nephew, we have a big family and we’re all close.

“They were just young boys. Everyone rides bikes and scooters around here.

“Yes we find them annoying but that’s just what they do, but as soon as those coppers saw they had no helmets they should’ve stopped.”

Nine people, including three 15-year-olds, have been arrested as part of an investigation into the serious disorder that unfolded following the fatal crash.

Police confirmed that five of the nine arrests were made on Thursday morning while the other four were made in the night of, and day after, the disorder.

The people arrested on Thursday include four males aged 16, 17, 18 and 29. Another man aged 21 was also arrested. All five remain in police custody on suspicion of riot.

Around a thousand people gathered at the vigil in Ely. Credit: PA

South Wales Police said it expects to make more arrests as it continues to analyse video material and identify those involved.

Members of the public are being encouraged to submit relevant footage and information to the force via an online portal.

On Wednesday, South Wales Police issued a timeline of events amid claims that the two boys were being chased by officers at the time of the crash.

Speaking at a press conference, Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Bacon, said that at the time of the collision, a police vehicle was in Grand Avenue, half a mile away from Snowden Road.

Floral tributes left to Kyrees Sullivan and Harvey Evans on Snowden Road, Ely. Credit: PA

She added that the police vehicle was on Cowbridge Road West when it received information about a road traffic collision. Officers illuminate blue lights and made their way to the collision scene.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has outlined four key questions they are asking in their investigation into South Wales Police's interaction with the two teenage boys prior to their deaths.

The watchdog said it had already "conducted extensive house-to-house enquiries on streets in Ely and have been gathering information from local residents and CCTV footage", and that the investigation in "progressing".

Earlier, First Minister Mark Drakeford pledged to address the longstanding issues people in Ely are facing after witnessing rioting in their streets this week.

Following the meeting the First Minister said: "This week, two families are grieving for their sons and the people of Ely have experienced a collective trauma.

"My thoughts are with the families and friends of Harvey and Kyrees.

"Representatives of the local community and public agencies, including Action in Caerau and Ely, the Welsh Government and Cardiff Council today met in Ely.

"We have agreed to jointly sponsor a grassroots-led initiative to create a community plan for Ely, to respond to the long-term needs of residents. It will be focused on actions and outcomes for people in Ely."