Mother who lost children in crash expecting on daughter's birthday

Mother who lost two children, four and three, in horrific crash with drunk and drugged-up driver is expecting a girl on her late daughter’s birthday

  • Rhiannon Lucas, from Tredegar, Wales, was seriously injured in the crash
  • She and partner Adam Saunders lost her two children aged just four and three
  • Driver Martin Newman was drunk on vodka and high on cocaine at the time
  • The couple will name their baby daughter Summer Gracie in tribute to her sister 

A mother who lost two children in a horror crash with a van driver drunk on vodka and drugged up on cocaine is due to give birth to a baby girl on her late daughter’s birthday. 

Rhiannon Lucas, 26, held a gender reveal announcement to tell family that she was expecting a baby girl next year.

Ms Lucas lost two young children, Gracie-Ann, four, and brother Jayden-Lee, three, when they were killed by the van while stopped on the hard shoulder of the M4.

The youngsters, from Tredegar, near Merthyr Tydfil, had been returning from a birthday party at around 1.45pm on February 5. 

Rhiannon Lucas, 26, said she knew her expected baby girl ‘was a gift from the kids’

Ms Lucas’s two children, Gracie-Ann (left), four, and Jayden-Lee (right), three, were killed in a horror crash in February after a drunk and drugged-up driver crashed into their car, stopped on the hard shoulder of the M4

The family stopped in the hard shoulder before drugged-up and drunk driver Martin Newman, 41, swerved across three lanes and into their vehicle.

Newman had been driving his white Ford Transit van just hours after drinking vodka and 10 cans of cider while also taking cocaine until 5am.

He even took a swig of wine at the wheel after placing a bottle in the cup holder of his vehicle. 

Heartbroken Ms Lucas and partner Adam Saunders were in the car when the tragedy occurred near Tredegar Park in Newport, Gwent.

The children’s mother also had to be rushed to hospital with broken ribs and a torn liver. 

The crash happened on the westbound carriageway between junctions 28 and 29, prompting a huge emergency services response and causing the route to be closed for around seven hours. 

Rhiannon Lucas, 26 (right) and partner Adam Saunders (left) are expecting their first child together on April 10 next year


The youngsters, from Tredegar, had been returning from a birthday party at around 1.45pm on February 5 when the car they were travelling in collided with a van. Jayden (pictured left), died after a week in intensive care. Gracie-Ann (pictured right) died a day after the crash after suffering a cardiac arrest

The baby will be named Summer Gracie, a tribute to big sister Gracie-Ann, who would have been six years old on the baby’s due date 

The couple have now announced they are expecting a baby girl on April 10, who they plan to name Summer Gracie in tribute to her big sister.

Ms Lucas’s due date falls on what would be Gracie-Ann’s sixth birthday next year.

She said: ‘We didn’t do the reveal around the children’s grave due to the bad weather, so we held it in my front garden.

‘My nan passed away last week, but before she passed she was excited with the news. 

‘The baby will never replace my beautiful brown-eyed angels who would be excited to have a baby sister.

Martin Newman, 41, was drunk on vodka and drugged up on cocaine when he hit the family’s car with an open bottle of wine in his van’s cupholder

‘I was crying and felt really bad when I found out about the pregnancy and what would my kids think of me having another one but deep down, I know it was a gift from them.’

Rhiannon, of Tredegar, South Wales, says she is still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy as she faces her first Christmas without her children.

She said: ‘I’m still like a nervous wreck to be honest, when I get in a car, I always make sure I wear my seat belt.

‘We are not celebrating Christmas this year, as it’s not the same without my two brown-eyed angels.’

Call centre worker Adam, 27, said: ‘It’s like fate. For the due date to be on Gracie’s birthday, it’s like the kids were sending us a message. 

‘I was hands in my face gobsmacked. I was speechless.

‘For my first child and Rhiannon’s third, to be due on Gracie’s birthday, well it’s incredible. It’s a special child.’

The gender reveal comes after Newman was jailed for nine years and four months at Cardiff Crown Court in April.

Prosecutor Roger Griffiths said painter and decorator had been drinking at a Travelodge into the early hours – and even took a sip of wine in his cup holder while driving.

He was staying at the hotel near Leicester for work when he went back to his room and drank ten cans of Strongbow and took cocaine until 5am.

Father-of-two Newman attempted to go to work the following morning but was too ‘tired, drained and hungover.’

He decided to make the journey back to Bridgend, South Wales, with a bottle of wine in his cup holder.

Newman, of Croeserw, near Neath, pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of the children by dangerous driving. He also admitted seriously injuring their mother by dangerous driving and driving while above the alcohol and drug limit.

Both children suffered catastrophic brain injuries in the crash while mum Rhiannon suffered rib fractures and a torn liver.

Gracie-Ann died at 4.45am the following day while brother Jayden-Lee died five days later at the University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff.

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