Driver jailed for killing boy, 3, and girl, 4, after night of cocaine

Van driver is jailed for nine years for killing boy, three, and his four-year-old sister and seriously injuring their mother in horrific motorway crash after night of cider and cocaine then drinking wine behind the wheel

  • Martin Newman, 41, admitted causing deaths of children by dangerous driving
  • He was jailed for nine years and banned from road for 14 years and eight months
  • CCTV footage shows the moment he swerved across M4 in Wales before crash

Martin Newman (pictured), 41, sipped from a bottle of wine as he swerved across the M4 near Tredegar Park in Newport, Gwent, South Wales, before crashing into a red Ford Fiesta carrying a young family. He was jailed for nine years and four months and banned from the road for 14 years and 8 months.

A van driver who killed two young siblings in a horror motorway crash while high on  a cocktail of cocaine, vodka and cider has been jailed for nine years. 

Martin Newman, 41, sipped from a bottle of wine as he swerved across the M4 near Tredegar Park in Newport, Gwent, South Wales, before crashing into a red Ford Fiesta carrying a young family. 

CCTV footage shows the moment his Ford Transit van meandered across all three lanes of the busy motorway, with witnesses saying he was ‘glued to his phone’ before watching in horror as he hit the family’s vehicle ‘at speed’, creating an ‘almighty bang’.  

Gracie-Ann Lucas, aged four, and her little brother Jayden-Lee, three, sustained catastrophic brain injuries and later died in hospital, leaving behind their grief-stricken mother Rhiannon Lucas and her partner Adam Saunders. 

Newman told police on the scene: ‘I want to f*****g die’ after holding one of the children in his blood-soaked hands as they fell unconscious. 

Newman, of Croeserw, near Neath, pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of the children by dangerous driving. He also admitted seriously injuring their mother after she suffered a fractured rib and torn liver.

He was jailed for nine years and four months and banned from the road for 14 years and 8 months. 

The family of four had been at a birthday party and were on their way to enjoy a family day out when the tragedy struck on February 5 of this year. 

Cardiff Crown Court heard Newman had been drinking double vodka and lemonades with workmates the night before the crash, before staying up in his Travelodge room near Leicester and consuming ten cans of Strongbow and cocaine until 5am.   

The father-of-two ditched work the next day because he was too ‘tired, drained and hungover’, deciding instead to travel back home to Bridgend in South Wales – while sipping from a bottle of wine he had placed in his cup holder. 

He would later tell police he drank the wine to cure his ‘dry mouth’.  

Gracie-Ann Lucas, aged four, and her little brother Jayden-Lee, three, (pictured together) sustained catastrophic brain injuries and later died in hospital, leaving behind their grief-stricken mother Rhiannon Lucas and her partner Adam Saunders.

Meanwhile, in the moments leading up the collision, prosecutor Roger Griffiths said the innocent family of four had pulled over in the hard shoulder of the M4 motorway near Tredegar Park. 

Mr Griffiths said: ‘Their red Ford Fiesta was stationary in the hard shoulder. Gracie-Ann said she had a bad stomach and needed to stop for wee.

‘Rhiannon Lucas got out and attended to her daughter’s needs and returned to the passenger seat.’ 

Witness Cara Williams said she saw Newman weaving across all three lanes on multiple occasions just moments before the smash.

Mr Griffiths said: ‘She thought the driver was either drunk or on the phone.. She thought the manoeuvre was dangerous.

‘She told her partner to overtake the van and ‘get out of this idiot’s way.’

Ms Williams later passed the van to see Newman ‘glued to his phone’ as she shouted at him to get put it down.

Mr Griffths said Newman had been in a heated phone argument with his ex just seven minutes before the smash and CCTV cameras showed him veering across lanes from the Prince of Wales Bridge to the scene of the crash.

The court heard witnesses watched in horror as the van ‘slammed into the car at speed’ while they heard an ‘almighty bang.’

Newman, of Croeserw, near Neath, pleaded guilty to causing the deaths of the children by dangerous driving. He also admitted seriously injuring their mother after she suffered a fractured rib and torn liver. (Pictured: Newman arriving to Cardiff Crown Court for sentencing Friday) 

Emergency service rushed to the scene to find Newman crying with blood on his hands and smelling of alcohol.

Newman told police: ‘I want to f***ing die’ and also said: ‘I shouldn’t have been in a rush to get home.’

The court heard Newman also claimed he had tried to help the youngsters and had held one of the siblings as they fell unconscious.

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. 

Newman also admitted driving while above the alcohol and drug limit.

Toxicology reports found he was over twice the drink drive limit and had traces of cocaine in his system taking him over the drug drive limit.

In a victim impact statement, mum Rhiannon said: ‘I feel lost without my children. No one understands what I’m going through.

Toxicology reports found he was over twice the drink drive limit and had traces of cocaine in his system taking him over the drug drive limit. (Pictured: Scene following horror crash) 

‘I know I’m still in shock and I haven’t processed exactly what has happened.

‘I constantly feel like I’m riding an up and down wave and I don’t know when it is going to stop.’

She added: ‘The man responsible for this has taken everything I had. I don’t care about me, I’m an adult who can fight and stand up for myself, but my children were not able to do that.

‘If that man was not on the road that day my children would still be here.’ 

Judge Daniel Williams said: ‘No punishment I pass upon you can compare with the unending suffering of those who keenly feel the loss of Gracie-Ann and Jayden-Lee.’ 

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