Fears four teenagers lay undiscovered in their car for 48 hours

Fears four teenagers lay undiscovered in their upturned car for 48 hours on ‘very remote’ road in ‘terrible’ weather before frantic search ended in tragedy

  • READ MORE: Emotional tributes to group as girlfriend says ‘I’ll miss you forever’

The four missing teenagers may have remained undiscovered in their upturned car for 48 hours, according to a source close to the investigation. 

Sixth form students Jevon Hirst, 16, Harvey Owen, 17, Wilf Henderson, 17 and Hugo Morris, 18, had been on a camping trip near Snowdonia National Park when they were reported missing on Monday morning. 

The hunt ended in tragedy when their Ford Fiesta was spotted on its roof on Tuesday, partially submerged in a ditch off a remote road almost two days after their last contact. 

Sources said police were investigating when the crash occurred. But they suspect it was shortly after the sixth-formers left Harlech on Sunday morning. They crashed around eight miles north, near the village of Garreg. 

The teenagers, who were not experienced campers, travelled from their homes in Shrewsbury, Shropshire to North Wales sometime on Saturday.

‘The plan seems to have been for them to camp in Snowdonia on Sunday evening, but it looks like they never made it to a campsite,’ said a source close to the investigation.

‘The car has left the road on a bend, it seems the driver lost control and ended up in water in a ditch. The accident may have happened as early as midday on Sunday but police were not informed until more than 24 hours later that they were missing.

‘It is a very remote area and the weather was terrible so the car simply may not have been seen from the road.’

Teenager friends (clockwise from top left) Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson, Hugo Morris and Jevon Hirst were last seen getting into a silver Ford Fiesta car on Sunday morning

The car is understood to have left a ‘windy, narrow and steep’ road on this part of the A4085

The entrance to the road was closed off by police after the discovery was made (pictured: police closing the road at Garreg to the south)

A crane was brought in to retrieve the vehicle from the crash site, where it was found upside down and partially submerged

The teenagers arrived in Harlech, around 75 miles west of Shrewsbury, on Saturday and stayed at the home of one of their grandfathers.

At around 11am on Sunday, the quartet left Harlech with the aim of camping in Snowdonia National Park; this was the last time they were seen alive.

The area in which the boys were camping is not believed to have a strong phone signal. The mother of one of the boys said her last contact with her son had been at around midday on Sunday in Porthmadog, less than 10 miles from Harlech.

Timeline of the four missing teenagers

A timeline of what we know so far about the missing teenagers:

Saturday night

Harvey Owen left home on Saturday night. He told his mother he was staying at a friend’s grandfather’s house but he went on a camping trip. 

It is understood the boys arrived in Harlech at 11pm before travelling to Snowdonia the next morning. 

Sunday morning 

Harvey last used his mobile phone at around lunchtime, according to his mother.


The boys are reported missing at 3.10pm after they fail to arrive home to Shropshire. Worried parents say they have not had contact with their sons since the previous day. 

In a now-deleted post on X, North Wales Police said it had ‘concerns’ for the teenagers and appealed for anyone who had seen their silver Ford Fiesta to get in touch.

Tuesday 4.30am 

A coastguard helicopter from Caernarfon searches the area around the Glaslyn Nature Reserve at 4.30am, but returned to base with ‘nothing found’.


Police say that following information from a member of the public, they had found the vehicle the teenagers were travelling in. 


Police confirm four bodies had been recovered from the car after what they described as a ‘tragic accident’.  

Police believe that the car came off the road a short time later after it appeared to career off the ‘narrow and windy’ A4085 close to a bend.

It wasn’t until 3.10pm on Monday – 28 hours after the boys left Harloch – that their parents told police they were missing. They had been due home on Monday but none of them made contact with friends and family or were active on WhatsApp.

The families had made desperate appeals for information in the hope of bringing their children home safely. 

Crystal Owen, Harvey’s mother, told the BBC she had no idea her son was going camping. She said her son had last used his phone around midday on Sunday in nearby Porthmadog.

‘If I had known I wouldn’t have left him due to the winter weather conditions,’ the cake shop owner said.

Jevon’s father Mel Hirst, wrote on social media: ‘If anyone knows anything or can think of anything that may help find the boys, please contact the police. We are desperate for any news.’

A coastguard helicopter and mountain rescue volunteers searched Snowdonia National Park for the car overnight – but it was a member of the public that then spotted the silver Ford Fiesta, upside down and partially submerged in water, between Garreg and Port Aberglaslyn.

North Wales Police announced yesterday that four bodies had been recovered from the car, which is believed to have been travelling in dismal weather conditions. 

Described as ‘sensitive and intelligent lads’, they were not experienced campers and had only a tent and sleeping bags.

The teens’ heartbroken loved ones are honouring the boys, with one’s girlfriend hailing him as the ‘sweetest’ and ‘most loving’ boy.

‘I love you so much baby,’ Wilf’s girlfriend Maddi Corfield said in a tribute on Instagram on Tuesday. ‘I’m going to miss you forever.’

The teen shared how her boyfriend was the ‘sweetest and most loving boy I’ve ever known,’ adding: ‘I hope you know how much I love you gorgeous.’ 

Maddi’s mother Lisa Corfield, 37, said she was ‘absolutely heartbroken’ for her daughter and ‘all of the boys family involved’ (sic). 

‘Wilf was such a lovely kind lad and treated Maddi in a way only a mother could hope her daughter b treated,’ the grieving mother said.

Lisa added: ‘We will all miss u dearly Wilf. thank u 4 bringing so much love and happiness in2 Maddi’s life and I promise to look after her 4 u.’

Superintendent Owain Llewelyn said the crash appeared to have been a ‘tragic accident’

The car was found on the A4085, which winds its way between Garreg and Nantmor. Locals described the driving conditions on Sunday as treacherous

Police cordoned off the A4085 near the village of Garreg

Police also blocked the road near Beddgellert, North Wales where four sixth form students were found dead in an overturned car

Locals reported that a helicopter had been searching the Penrhyndeudraeth area before heading toward Nantmor and Beddgelert. The car was found at Garreg

DVLA records showed that a new logbook had been issued for the car at the end of August. Drivers can legally take to the road from the age of 17.

Last night Liz Saville Roberts, the local MP and Welsh Seredd Member Mabon ap Gwynfor said: ‘This news is truly heartbreaking and foremost as parents ourselves, our thoughts go out to the families and friends of the four young men whose lives have been lost in this tragic accident.’

‘We would like to pay tribute to the emergency services and local mountain rescue teams involved in the search operation, and to members of the public for their assistance in helping to locate the vehicle.’

‘No words can sufficiently reflect the sorrow that this news brings to our whole community.’

Superintendent Owain Llewellyn of North Wales Police said on Tuesday afternoon: ‘Police officers located a Ford Fiesta on its roof, partially submerged in water. 

‘Tragically, the bodies of four young males were found within the vehicle. The families of the missing boys have been informed. Our thoughts are with them at this desperate time. 

‘While the search has concluded there is a search ongoing to formally identify those within the vehicle and understand what led to this tragic incident.’ 

Supt Llewellyn continued: ‘At present, this appears to have been a tragic accident, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the four young men at this very difficult time.

‘This has been an extensive search involving a number of different agencies and volunteers, and this is sadly not the outcome that any of us would have wanted. We would ask that the family be afforded the appropriate privacy and respect.’

Police cordoned off a four mile stretch of the A4085 between the villages of Garreg and Port Aberglaslyn, near Porthmadog, north Wales.

It is understood the Fiesta was spotted by a member of the public this morning, shortly after 10am, around three miles north of Garreg, close to the start of a popular waterfall walking route, known as Croesor Waterfalls Hike.

The road is steep and very windy in parts and there is almost no mobile phone signal in the area.

(left to right) Harvey Owen, Wilf Henderson and Jevon Hirst

A fire engine heading to the scene of the crash in north Wales after the vehicle was found

A flatbed lorry arrives at the scene of the tragedy to collect the vehicle for crash investigators

A police vehicle parked close to the scene of the quadruple tragedy earlier on Tuesday

Emyr Owen, who lives near the crash site, said that it had been ‘atrocious’ weather on the morning the boys went missing. 

He told the BBC that police began combing the area at 5am and closed the roads. Ambulances entered the cordon at around 1pm, followed by a police forensics team.

Manasa Boma, manager at The Royal Goat Hotel in Beddgelert, close to the scene, said: ‘Our handyman messaged me to say there had been a terrible accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who’s involved’.

A spokesman for the police said the car had been located ‘following information from a member of the public’.

Officers and other emergency services are currently at the scene and that they keeping the teenager’s families updated with information, they added.

Local councillor June Jones told Sky News: ‘I was hoping that they’d gone out camping wild and had no mobile signal. I was hoping very much that that is the reason why they haven’t been in contact – there’s not much mobile signal in this area and perhaps that is why’.

She said the ‘whole area is in complete shock’ and ‘everybody’s feelings are very much with the families at this time’.

‘It has been extremely wet and the rivers have been extremely high over the last few days. Obviously, it is November, the weather is bad. It is bad weather to be travelling in, especially with somebody who doesn’t know the roads very well’, she said.

In a statement Shrewsbury Colleges Group, where the boys were all A-level pupils, said: ‘We would like to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the four young men who tragically died in the suspected traffic accident.

‘This news is truly heartbreaking, and our thoughts go out to those affected by this tragic news. We would like to thank the emergency services and local mountain rescue teams, as well as members of the public for their assistance in helping with the search and helping to locate the vehicle.

‘We will be working directly with students and staff who are affected by this terrible accident and have put in place a range of support measures for all of our community.’

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘We were called on Tuesday at approximately 10.08am to reports of an incident near the A4085 between Nantmor and Tan-Lan.

‘We sent an operations manager, two emergency ambulances and two Cymru high acuity response units to the scene where we were supported by the emergency medical retrieval and transfer service in two Wales Air Ambulance charity helicopters.’

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