A HEARTBROKEN Somerset couple are calling for a change in the law so that unborn children are better recognised by the Road Traffic Act.

Jackie and Tom Luxon had their lives completely turned upside down after a serious crash left Jackie and her three-year-old daughter with life-changing injuries.

The crash happened just over a year ago, and Jackie as well as sustaining a broken leg, lost her unborn baby daughter Grace who suffered a fractured skull.

The driver, 29-year-old Stuart Wells of Sherborne, Dorset, was sentenced to three years and seven months in prison for causing the collision on the B3151 near Somerton on March 28, last year.

As well as the prison sentence, he was also disqualified from driving for five years.

But Tom and Jackie, both 33, feel justice was not served, as Jackie was 26 weeks pregnant with their daughter Grace when the crash happened.

As a result of the collision, Mrs Luxon sustained life changing injuries and was airlifted to Musgrove Park Hospital.

She said in her victim impact statement in court: "The aftermath of the collision was terrifying, my daughter was screaming out in pain and calling for help which I was unable to give as I was trapped and could not move to help her.

"This was the start of every parent’s worst nightmare. I was 26 weeks pregnant at the time and was so concerned about both of my children.

“My heart was torn to pieces when we were informed that my baby girl no longer showed signs of life."

Under current UK law, Wells could not be prosecuted under the Road Traffic Act for causing the death of an unborn child by dangerous driving.

If Grace had been delivered in Musgrove Park Hospital while she was still alive then the charges would have been death by dangerous driving.

However, Jackie and Tom did have to legally register for Grace's death and choose whether she would be buried or cremated, because a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy must still be registered under UK law.

"It is contradictory," Tom says. "One part of the law says Grace must be treated as a person and one section does not.

"Modern medical science says that 24 weeks is a viable birth but this is not reflected consistently in the law.

"The driver who caused the collision, we feel, got a lenient sentence for the damage he caused, and we do not feel there has been justice for our daughter Grace.

"The driver could only be sentenced for as long as he has for causing serious injury by dangerous driving because a family campaigned for six years to increase the sentences in what is known as Cerys' Law.

"Now we want to introduce Grace's Law so that families in the future in our position get the justice they deserve."

Yeovil Express:
LIFE-CHANGING: The scene of the shocking crash which claimed Grace's life 

The couple were driving in convoy having just purchased a new Peugeot 307 in anticipation of their new arrival.

They were driving home in convoy when Wells, driving dangerously, drifted onto their side of the road and collided with both of their vehicles.

The resulting injuries sustained by Mrs Luxon and their daughter, have had a profound effect on their lives while the loss of their unborn baby has been truly devastating for the family.

The court heard Wells’ Ford Fiesta collided with the side of Tom Luxon’s Peugeot 307 travelling in the opposite direction on a straight section of road.

This caused the vehicle to spin out of control, colliding with a large hedge.

The Ford Fiesta then collided head on with a Seat Ibiza driven by Mr Luxon’s wife, Jackie.

The force of the impact threw both vehicles into the air before they eventually settled on opposite sides of the road, a fourth vehicle, a VW Polo then collided at slow speed with the Seat Ibiza.

The couple's three-year-old daughter suffered a broken neck in the crash, but miraculously looks set to make a full recovery.

Tom works as head of IT for a marketing firm in Bath, while Jackie as a hairdresser in Wells.

The Axbridge couple say it has been a steep learning curve to get to this point to launch a campaign.

"It took some time to settle down but we have been busy researching and we are passionate and determined to make this happen," Mr Luxon said.

"We'd like to make it clear that the police and Crown Prosecution Service did as much as they could, but they can only work with the laws in place," Mr Luxon said.

The Luxon's have created a government petition to support the campaign which you can sign here

GAZETTE COMMENT:

IT is everybody parent’s worst nightmare, losing a child.

One can only imagine how much worse that nightmare becomes when that child is taken from you in an incident which could so easily have been avoided.

That is what happened to Tom and Jackie Luxon on March 28, 2018.

But their unborn child, Grace, was not recognised by law when prosecuting the driver who caused the crash, and they say this further enhanced the trauma they have endured ever since.

Now, the brave couple are seeking to bring about a change in the law, to enable families like them to have the lives of their unborn children recognised.

Your County Gazette supports their campaign and is determined to do all it can to help Tom and Jackie bring about change - change, for Grace.

We will continue to highlight their cause and will bring you more on how you can do your bit too...