The van driver who had been drinking and taking drugs got a nine-year imprisonment.
On February 5, four-year-old Gracie-Ann Lucas and her three-year-old brother Jayden-Lee Lucas were going home from a birthday party with their mother, Rhiannon Lucas, and a friend. A van collided into the car they were traveling in and tragically both siblings died within days of each other. Gracie-Anne died the day after the crash on February 6 while Jayden-Lee died five days later. The van driver, 41-year-old Martin Newman, was charged with death by dangerous driving. Newman was high on alcohol and drugs when he crashed into the stationary vehicle on the M4, reports Wales Online.
Brother and sister, three and four, were killed when a van smashed into their car on the hard shoulder of the M4, inquest hears https://t.co/18l3WK7KR5— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) February 28, 2022
According to Daily Mail, the children's cousin Jamie Lucas, 19, paid tribute to Gracie-Ann, at the time of her death. "I'm just trying to wrap my head around the fact that she's gone; it's hard to believe. She was so young. She had a bright future ahead of her. She was such a wonderful child. I'm just lost for words really. How she was returning from a birthday party and all of a sudden she's gone." Speaking of Jayden's passing he shared, "Unfortunately, after a week of fighting, Jayden has passed away. He was wonderful, creative and a kind soul. Turned the grey skies blue."
There is some sheer unadulterated hell that happens on this planet.— Look- (Stop Me If You've Heard This One) (@Dene71) April 8, 2022
Drunk van driver who killed brother and sister in M4 crash jailed https://t.co/BKQJWduSH0
The children's father, 24-year-old Joseph Wheaton, said the crash has "ruined" him and the family. He said, "This has been the worst year of my life. From having the phone to say my kids have been in a car accident, to going into the hospital room, I looked at both of my children and it just didn’t seem right, it broke my heart. I saw them both in the room with all the machines on them, and it just broke my heart. That’s an image I can never forget. Knowing my daughter wouldn’t make it through the night, it hurt me. That week I prayed and prayed and prayed. We had some hope that he was moving, they [the doctors] said he had a gag reflex, I was thinking ‘go on boy,’" he shared. "I blew raspberries on his belly thinking he would come around a bit and instead he farted, and I thought ‘he must be in there' because he was always a funny boy and that lifted the tension a bit. Before Jayden passed away we all had to have a sit-down and talk about it and switching it off and I just kept saying 'no I’m not ready to let him go yet. I can’t do it. He can’t go yet, I’m not ready,'" he said. "He breathed for about 10 minutes after it was taken away and that was it then. And it just snapped us all to pieces then. It has ruined us."
The driver Newman admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, and one of causing serious injury to the children's mother Rhiannon Lucas by dangerous driving, and charges of drink-driving and drug driving. He was sent to prison for nine years and four months, a sentence which is laughable to the Wheaton family. “It’s ridiculous how they can only give him what, nine and a half years, and it will get split in half," said Wheaton. "That man in court said ‘I just want to go and see my children’ and I thought, ‘how disrespectful, I can’t see my children', on Birthdays and Christmas I have to go up to a graveyard to see my babies." He added, "In a few years time he will be able to see his kids, we won’t ever be able to see ours. We have to go up to the graveyard to see ours. We can’t visit them, we visit the graveyard. We can’t buy them sweets as you do, we buy them flowers."
Martin Newman has been sentenced to nine years and four months in prison for causing the deaths of four-year-old Gracie-Ann Wheaton and three-year-old Jayden-Lee Lucas in a crash on the M4 near Newport in February #HeartNews pic.twitter.com/s6rEQoWZqg— Heart Wales News (@heartwalesnews) April 8, 2022
Representational Image Cover Source: Getty Images | Shaw Photography Co.