A van driver today admitted killing a young brother and sister on their way home from a birthday party.
Martin Newman, 41, was driving his Ford Transit van when he smashed into the car carrying Gracie-Ann Lucas, four, and her brother Jayden-Lee Lucas, three.
Grave died just hours after the crash in hospital – and Jayden-Lee died five days later.
At Cardiff Crown Court today, prosecutor Roger Griffiths said the youngsters had been travelling with mum Rhiannon Lucas when they were hit on the M4 motorway.
The family had been travelling home from a birthday party on February 5 when the tragic crash unfolded near Tredegar Park in Newport, Gwent.
Newman, of Croeserw, South Wales, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
He also pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving to Rhiannon Lucas.
Mr Griffiths said: ‘An accident and investigation report has not yet been concluded.’
Judge Daniel Williams adjourned the case for sentencing on April 8.
He said: ‘You have pleaded guilty. The next stage is for the court to proceed to sentence you.’
Jayden-Lee Lucas and four-year-old Gracie-Ann Wheaton died in hospital after the crash in Wales earlier this month
Tributes were paid to Gracie-Ann and Jayden-Lee following their deaths.
Headteacher Huw Waythe, of Deighton Primary School, described them as two ‘special children.’
He said: ‘Everyone at the school is immensely sad to hear of the passing of a second pupil following a road traffic collision on 5th February 2022.
‘Our thoughts remain with members of the family, and words cannot adequately express the shock and pain which they must be feeling.
‘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.
‘Gracie-Ann and Jayden-Lee’s lives will continue to be celebrated and remembered by us all. They both have a special place in our hearts and Deighton Primary School will never forget them.
‘We will support each other through this, seeking and providing further specific professional assistance for those pupils and staff who find this time the most upsetting.
‘We ask that you give us your support by allowing us some time to process our thoughts and feelings.’
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. Today tributes were paid to young Jayden (pictured left), who died on Friday after a week in intensive care. Gracie-Ann (pictured right) died a day after the crash, despite efforts to save her
A 41-year-old man today appeared in court charged with causing death by dangerous driving in relation to the crash (pictured: Cars queued on the motorway following the collision)
The children’s cousin Jamie Lucas, 19, from Abergavenny, said: ‘Unfortunately, after a week of fighting, Jayden has passed away.
‘He was wonderful, creative and a kind soul. Turned the grey skies blue.’
In a previous tribute to Gracie-Ann, who died in hospital the day after the crash, he said: ‘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.’
Jayden and Gracie-Ann, and their parents, were rushed to the intensive care unit (ICU) of University Hospital of Wales, also known as the Heath Hospital, in Cardiff, following the crash.
Jayden and Gracie-Ann (pictured), and their parents, were rushed to the intensive care unit (ICU) of University Hospital of Wales, also known as the Heath Hospital, in Cardiff, following the crash
Gracie-Ann (pictured left and right) suffered a cardiac arrest due to the severity of her injuries and died the following day at around 5am. A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the siblings’ funeral has raised more than £11,500.
Gracie-Ann suffered a cardiac arrest due to the severity of her injuries and died the following day at around 5am. Jayden died the following Friday at 4.30pm, his family confirmed.
A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the siblings’ funeral has raised more than £11,500.
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.