M4 van driver admits dangerous driving which killed brother and sister in crash

Siblings Jayden-Lee Lucas and Gracie-Ann Wheaton both lost their lives in the crash. Credit: PA

A van driver has admitted causing the death of two children and seriously injuring their mother in an M4 crash.

Martin Newman, 41, admitted dangerous driving which killed three-year-old Jayden-Lee Lucas and his sister Gracie-Ann Wheaton.

He further admitted seriously injuring their mother, Rhiannon Lucas, in the crash on the M4.

The family, from Tredegar, had been returning from a birthday party at around 1.45pm on Saturday February 5 when the car they were travelling in collided with Newman’s van on the M4 near Newport.

Three-year-old Jayden-Lee Lucas and his four-year-old sister, Gracie-Ann Wheaton, died after a crash on the M4 motorway near Newport Credit: Family handout/PA

Newman, of Croeserw, spoke only to confirm his identity and enter his guilty pleas at Cardiff Crown Court on Monday February 21.

The two children were rushed to the intensive care unit at University Hospital of Wales, also known as the Heath Hospital, in Cardiff, after the crash.

Ms Lucas and the children’s father, who has not been named, were also taken to hospital.

Gracie-Ann suffered a cardiac arrest due to the severity of her injuries and died the next day at around 5am.

Jayden-Lee died the following Friday at 4.30pm.

No further details of the offence were given and Judge Daniel Williams listed the case for sentence on April 8.

Family members and the Tredegar community have paid tribute to the siblings, and a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for their funeral has reached nearly £15,000.

Gracie-Ann was described as a "wonderful child" by family.

Cousin Jamie Lucas, 19, from Abergavenny, described Gracie as "very smart and very creative. She was just fantastic to be around."

He described Jayden as a "wonderful, creative and a kind soul, who turned the grey skies blue."

'They put a smile on all our faces daily'

Huw Waythe, headteacher of Deighton Primary School, issued a statement on behalf of the primary school paying tribute to two "special children" who would "put a smile on all our faces daily."

He added: "We are shocked and saddened by the loss of two of our own.

"We will never forget how special the children were to our school community. They both put a smile on all our faces daily. They were a delight to have and both always lit up any room with their positive personality and beaming smiles."