THE cause of a car crash which killed “one of life’s stalwarts” remains a mystery.

Valerie Ford was driving along the A420 not far from Botley Interchange when her VW Passat estate veered “abruptly” off the road before rebounding into the carriageway.

The 61-year-old died at the scene at about 5.20pm on January 24.

Mrs Ford’s 24-year-old daughter Erika, who was a front-seat passenger, survived.

An inquest at Oxford’s Old County Hall yesterday could not determine what caused the crash.

Witness Robert Mitchell said the car “suddenly and for no apparent reason steered abruptly to the left”.

Crash investigator Terry Anderson said there had been “a very harsh application of left-hand steering, the exact circumstances of which are unknown”.

Mrs Ford, a married mother-of-two from Besselsleigh Road, Wootton, near Abingdon, was described in a statement from her GP Dr Leszek Blazewicz as “a devoted wife and mother, a very kind soul willing to help anyone.

“She was one of life’s stalwarts. The tragic loss has upset everyone at the practice.”

Coroner Darren Salter recorded a verdict of accidental death. He said: “It seems to me the cause of this sudden loss of control remains unknown.

“There’s no evidence of third-party involvement.”