Couple who lost baby in car crash want new laws to give unborn children rights

A couple who lost their baby at 26 weeks in a car crash are campaigning to give more rights to unborn children.

At the moment, the law doesn’t recognise an an unborn child in any way if they are injured, seriously injured, or killed in a road accident.

It means charges couldn’t be brought over baby Grace’s death.

Jackie and Tom Luxon lost their daughter after a motorist crossed the central line and hit the family Seat Ibiza head on – claiming to have lost control after a sneeze.

The bereaved couple had to bury their stillborn daughter and the driver responsible for the crash was jailed for causing serious injury to Jackie and her other daughter by dangerous driving.

The Luxons, from Axbridge, Somerset, are now campaigning MPs to amend the Road Traffic Act 1988 to recognise unborn babies over 24 weeks as a person in their own right.

They hope this will bring other grieving parents in similar situations full justice, allowing charges to be brought when an unborn child is killed or seriously injured in a road traffic collision.

Stuart Wells, 29, swerved onto the wrong side of B3151 road in Somerset, and collided with their car in March 2018.

Emergency services freed Jackie and her older daughter, who was two at the time, rushing them to hospital.

Jackie was left with serious injuries, while her daughter, now three, broke her neck, was left with spinal cord damage, and was placed in a medically-induced coma.

After intensive rehabilitation for seven weeks, Jackie’s older daughter made a full recovery – but her unborn daughter had no heartbeat and was pronounced dead.

Devastated Jackie said: “My heart was torn to pieces when we were informed that my baby girl no longer showing signs of life. It was a day that tore our lives apart.”

Wells, from Sherborne, pleaded guilty on December 3 in Taunton to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and another count of dangerous driving.

His defence, Patrick Mason, told the court he was ‘a man in a fatigued state’.

On January 25 this year, Judge Ticehurst sentenced Wells to three years and seven months in prison.

But the Luxons say that his punishment was not justice for the death of their unborn baby girl, Grace.

Jackie said at the time: ‘It’s heart-breaking that no prosecution can be brought for the loss of her life.’

The couple are lobbying road safety charities and local MPs for support of the proposed change, which they are calling Grace’s Law.

Wells MP James Heappey has already vowed to back the family’s campaign.

He said: ‘I have already raised the matter with the Secretary of State for Transport, who in turn has undertaken to discuss the matter with the Lord Chancellor.

‘It appears that there is an anomaly in the law where if an unborn child is killed in some circumstances, it is punished differently to others. Clearly this cannot be right.’