Daughter describes heart-stopping moment she found out family had been killed by Norfolk drug-driver

  • Watch Rob Setchell's emotional interview with Summer Mace and her father

A bereaved daughter has spoken of the heart-stopping moment she discovered her mum, sister and stepfather had been killed by a speeding driver high on drugs.

Summer Mace told her powerful story to raise awareness as part of a campaign seeking life sentences for drivers who kill.

Miss Mace had been staying with her partner when she heard there had been a serious crash on the A47 in Norfolk, not far from her home in Gedney.

She did not realise her family - her mum Lisa Carter, 49, stepfather Paul Carter, 41, and older sister Jade, 25 - were involved until she tried to get in touch with them the following morning and no-one replied to her messages.

"I went to ring Paul. I rang him five times and every time it said his phone was turned off which was very unusual for Paul," she told ITV News Anglia.

"Then I rang my mum thinking she'll be up... and it just kept ringing, and then I rang my sister and it went to voicemail.

"That was the moment it dropped for me that something was really wrong."

Miss Mace messaged the family group chat, which they called the Crazy Gang, but again no-one responded.

Jade with mum Lisa and sister Summer at Lisa's wedding to Paul Credit: Summer Mace

Her family had been killed instantly the previous evening when their Vauxhall Mokka was struck by a speeding BMW near King's Lynn just after 7.30pm on January 15.

Their car had been hit head-on by Aurelijus Cielevicius, 39, from King's Lynn, who had taken a cocktail of drugs including crystal meth and cannabis.

He had been seen running red lights and was overtaking on the wrong side of the road when he hit the family's car at 96mph. They were doing 52mph in the 60mph limit.

A tearful Miss Mace said: "He's taken my entire life from me.

"He didn't just take three of the most important people he took my home, my support unit and my way of life.

"He is such a selfish person."

Lisa and Paul Carter at their wedding Credit: Summer Mace

When her family failed to respond, Miss Mace checked their Ring doorbell and first saw their car was not in the drive, then spotted police arriving on the doorstep just after midnight.

"I didn't know if they were dead, if they were alive, if they were in hospital," she said.

"I had to ring my dad to tell him his 25-year-old daughter had been in a car accident and I wasn't aware if she was okay or dead or in hospital."

Summer Mace with her older sister Jade. Credit: Summer Mace

Miss Mace, who is a drama teacher, was only officially given the news when a police officer arrived at her school to confirm her family had died in the crash.

"I was in complete shock," she said.

"I could not believe those words were coming out of someone's mouth. My head was just spinning, I felt my heart had dropped out on the floor."

Miss Mace then had to face telling the rest of her family, including her dad and grandparents, the news of what had happened.

"I could not ring my nan and grandad and tell them that their daughter had been killed, and their granddaughter and son-in-law."

Jade Mace was described by Summer as her best friend Credit: Summer Mace

Miss Mace said she is still grieving and struggles to realise her family are gone.

"More than anything, all I ever want to do is have a chat with my mum.

"It's so hard that you can't and it's so hard that it's been done in a way where she was taken by someone being so selfish. She should still be here."

Lisa Carter was a mobile hairdresser and Miss Mace described her as a bubbly larger-than-life character who was always there for her daughters.

Paul Carter, who was known as PJ, was a builder who loved to sing as he worked.

Miss Mace described her sister Jade as her best friend, and like a second mother.

"The bond me and Jade had was irreplaceable. She was such a vibrant character, she loved festivals and travelling - she just had a love for life," she said.

  • Summer Mace describes her heartbreak at not being able to say goodbye properly

Miss Mace saw her family in the chapel of rest and described their injuries as the "stuff of nightmares".

Her mother's injuries were so bad she was unable to kiss her goodbye.

"It will haunt me for the rest of my life that I didn't get to say goodbye properly."

She said that in contrast, the driver Cielevicius escaped with minor injuries.

He was banned from driving for 15 years and sentenced to 10-and-a-half years in jail for causing death by dangerous driving. This means he could be released in seven years.

Aurelijus Cielevicius was sentenced for three counts of causing death by dangerous driving. Credit: Norfolk Police

Since the crash, Summer has gone to live with her father Jason, 51, in King's Lynn.

Mr Mace is also calling for tougher sentences for drivers who kill.

He said: "What on earth does it take to get a life sentence? He took my daughter. He took a big part of my life. For Summer, she just lost so much. She lost everything. She lost it all. He's taken everything."

The pair are backing a new national campaign by RoadPeace calling for longer sentences and lifetime driving bans.

The Fix our Broken Justice System campaign wants victims rights to come before those of drivers.

Miss Mace has also launched a petition calling for change.

Summer Mace with her dad Jason Credit: ITV News Anglia

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