Mum who lost two young children in M4 crash pregnant again and due date is late daughter's birthday

The mother of Gracie-Ann and Jayden-Lee Lucas has announced she is pregnant again, with the due date being her late daughter's birthday. Credit: Media Wales

The mother of two young children who died when their car was hit by a drink-driver on the M4 has shared the news that she is pregnant again - with the due date being her late daughter's birthday.

Rhiannon Lucas was in the car with her partner and children, four-year-old Gracie-Ann Lucas and three-year-old Jayden-Lee Lucas, when a van driver crashed into their vehicle in February 2022.

Both children died within days of each other while Rhiannon sustained serious injuries from the incident.

Martin Newman, 41, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, one of causing serious injury to the children's mother by dangerous driving, and charges of drink-driving and drug-driving.

A court heard how he had been more than twice the drink-driving limit for alcohol and had traces of cocaine in his system.

He was jailed for nine years and will serve just over four years in custody. The children's family, from Tredegar, appealed this sentence however it was denied.

Jayden-Lee and Gracie-Ann died after the vehicle they were travelling in, which was stopped on the hard shoulder, was hit from behind. Credit: Media Wales

Rhiannon and her partner Adam Saunders - stepfather to Jayden-Lee and Gracie-Ann - have now announced they are expecting their first child together.

Adam, 27, who works in the call centre industry, said the pregnancy is keeping the pair "sane".

He said: "After everything we have been through, this is something to keep us sane and positive and happy to look forward to now.

"Obviously, we will never forget Jayden and Gracie but it's something we don't have to always dwell on and always have sad moments, we have happy memories to look back on.

"This [the pregnancy] is something now for us to focus on and look forward to. It's something lovely to happen to us after everything that has happened."

'It's like the kids were sending us a message'

The child's due date has been predicted as April 10 2023, what would have been Gracie-Ann's sixth birthday.

Adam said that when he was told about the due date and realised its significance, he was "gobsmacked" and "speechless".

He 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."

As it has been only around seven months since the tragic deaths of Gracie-Ann and Jayden-Lee, Adam said there were a lot of emotions involved in the pregnancy - especially for mum Rhiannon who is still battling her own injuries.

Adam said it felt like Gracie-Lee and Jayden-Lee were sending him and their mum a message, with the due date being Gracie's birthday.

"Emotions are definitely high but there have always been smiles on our faces since we found out," said Adam.

"We're always talking about it, always on our mind. Anything we do talk about in terms of Gracie and Jayden is obviously still very emotional but we talk about them in a happy way, we remember positive memories.

"They're happy memories, we're smiling when we talk about them."

'Gracie and Jayden are having a little brother or sister'

The young siblings had a joint funeral earlier this year. The emotional service saw the children's favourite cartoon characters lead the procession and doves released, as hundreds gathered on the streets to pay their respects.

Adam said: "Me and Rhiannon go up the graveside quite frequently, and I've got to be honest the first time we went to the grave after we found out it was like announcing the news to them that they're having a brother or sister.

"Although they are gone they're still with us in our hearts and as far as we are concerned, Gracie and Jayden are having a little brother or sister. We did get emotional then. It was like we were telling them the news, without being able to physically tell them the news."But we know they are looking down on us and knew what we told them. And now they'll certainly have some involvement.

"They're making sure they are involved and sending a message with the due date on Gracie's birthday. This is something lovely and exciting for us all now."