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Man jailed after woman loses baby in crash

The aftermath of the crash

A man is starting an almost four year jail term for causing a crash near Somerton.

Stuart Wells, 29, of Sherborne, drove erratically before the collision on the B3151 last March.

Jackie Luxton sustained life-changing injuries and lost her unborn child

Her three year old daughter suffered a broken neck and was paralysed for four months.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson said: "Wells admitted two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving when he appeared at Taunton Crown Court.

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

"One of those injured was Jackie Luxon, who as well as sustaining a broken leg, lost her unborn baby.

"The collision happened on the B3151 near Somerton on Wednesday, 28 March 2018.

"Witnesses saw Wells’ Ford Fiesta driving erratically along the A39 and the B3151 prior to the collision. 

"They reported seeing the vehicle drifting across the carriageway, veering both onto the verge as well as onto the wrong side of the road. 

"One witness described how he drove aggressively behind her car in what she perceived to be an effort to force her to speed up or pull over.

"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.

"As a result of the collision, Mrs Luxon sustained life changing injuries and was airlifted to Musgrove Park Hospital. She was 26 weeks pregnant at the time and tragically lost her baby as well as breaking her tibia and fibula. 

"The Luxon’s three-year-old daughter who was travelling in the rear of the Seat sustained a broken neck and was paralysed for four months. 

"Mr Luxon sustained minor injuries in the collision as did Wells.

"The court heard the weather conditions were good at the time of the collision and none of the vehicles involved had any defects which would have contributed to the collision.

"When he was interviewed by police, Wells stated he did not recall drifting across the carriageway and had not been driving aggressively.  He stated he had sneezed, which resulted in him closing his eyes and colliding with the oncoming vehicles. 

"In court he admitted driving dangerously and causing the collision."

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Jackie Luxon said: "We were really excited to be starting the next chapter of our lives and were heading out to pick up a new family car in preparation for the birth of our second daughter. On heading back from picking our new car, everything changed for us in a matter of seconds.

"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 Grace no longer showed signs of life.

"It's heart-breaking that no prosecution can be brought for the loss of Grace's life...we hope that consideration is made for changes to this law going forward."

A statement from Tom Luxon added: "The outcomes of that day both physically and emotionally will stay with us for life and whilst we don't know what the final outcome will be for everyone's recovery, we do know that life will never be the same."

Investigating officer PC Owen Davies, from the Road Policing Unit, said; “The Luxon’s had just bought the bigger Peugeot 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. 

"Their injuries and loss will continue to have implications for the rest of their lives."  

He added: "I’m sure Wells did not set out that day to cause a horrific collision but this case goes to show that when you are driving a vehicle on a public road, concentration and alertness are paramount for your own safety as well as other road users. 

"Wells will have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life

"This case sends out a strong message that motorists who drive dangerously on the roads will find themselves facing significant consequences."

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