A MOTHER who crashed her car in a sleep-deprived stupor, killing another driver, has been called a ‘coward’ by her victim’s sons.

Beloved Wantage grandmother Pat Robinson, 70, died after Anusha Ranganathan veered head-on into her car on the A338 near East Hanney.

Oxford Crown Court heard today how a passerby rescued Ranganathan’s one-year-old son, who was found crying in the footwell after falling from his car seat, just before the Toyota Avensis burst into flames.

Good Samaritans also freed trapped Mrs Robinson from her Nissan Juke, after both cars ended up smashing into a waterlogged ditch, but the grandmother-of-four died in hospital almost five weeks later.

The victim's son, named in court as Nolan, said 'no words can describe the heartache' his family has endured since the crash, which happened shortly before midday on Monday, June 4, last year.

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He said: "The world was a far better place with my mum in it. She was the youngest 70-year-old I knew – she had so much life left in her.

"Her [Ranganathan's] recklessness cost a family a mum, grandma, sister, niece, aunt and, for the hundreds of people who attended her funeral, a friend.

"She had not apologised and only offered one when she came to court – I find this cowardly and shameful."

Ranganathan, 41, of Glebe Gardens in Grove, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Nolan described his mother as an 'amazing, generous, caring person' who had never had an accident in 35 years of driving.

The family suffered a 'hellish nightmare' as his mum battled for her life on a ventilator, he said, before dying at the John Radcliffe Hospital on July 5.

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Picture of the crash scene shared by Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

He said he sees too many drivers risking lives with speed and carelessness, and urged the judge to pass a lengthy sentence to deter dangerous drivers.

Also speaking at court today, his brother Spencer said he 'felt like the world had ended' following the ordeal.

The court heard how he had spoken to his mother that morning, as he has done daily since his father died of a brain haemorrhage in 2004.

He said: "Both of my parents died in the most horrific way and I witnessed their deaths firsthand.

"She closed her eyes and never opened them again. Her breathing [machine] went down like a second clock, and she died right in front of me. My legs were like jelly.

"At night I relive what I saw... in my dreams I am right back in the intensive care unit."

READ AGAIN: Family pays tribute to grandmother killed in horror crash

Addressing Ranganathan, he said: "I have a hatred for you that runs deeper than you would ever imagine.

"This is your fault. You are a coward. You have ruined everything."

Defending, Matthew Kerruish-Jones said Ranganathan, who also suffered injuries in the crash, was 'deeply and genuinely remorseful'.

Although she was unable to remember what had happened, Judge Ian Pringle agreed the most likely explanation was that she had fallen asleep.

The court heard she had a restless night as her baby had not been sleeping, as he was recovering from heart surgery.

She had just dropped her husband off at Thornhill Park and Ride and was heading back home when the crash happened, along a straight 50mph stretch.

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Thames Valley Police shared this image of much-loved Pat Robinson

The court heard how she was seen 'wandering around' in a 'disorientated state' afterwards, asking: "Where am I? What am I doing? Where's my husband?"

A lorry driver witnessed the crash as he sat drinking tea while parked in a nearby layby, and said he heard no noise to suggest Ranganathan had tried to brake.

His statement said he and others tried to pull Mrs Robinson out, but the car door was trapped by the grass verge.

He said she was screaming for them to get her out as flames from Ranganathan's Toyota, which was on fire, threatened to spread to the bonnet of the Nissan.

They eventually got her out via another door but she passed out, he said.

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Another witness said a 'massive plume of smoke came out of the engine' and the 999 operator then told everyone to clear the area.

A letter written by Ranganathan, read to the court today, said: "I never imagined being the reason to cause so much hurt and pain to so many people.

"The loss of life is insurmountable and I shall feel remorse for as long as I shall live."

She said her apology to the family came late as she was advised against contact by her solicitors, adding that she is 'truly devastated by what happened.'

Judge Pringle noted that Ranganathan is 'hugely loved by her family and friends' and runs her own successful business.

She has a clean driving record and no prior convictions, and the judge said the character references supplied in her favour were 'impressive.'

However, he added: "When you fall asleep at the wheel of the vehicle, that vehicle turns into a lethal weapon.

"It's difficult to accept that your falling asleep came as a complete surprise."

Ranganathan was also disqualified from driving for three and a half years, and made to pay a victim surcharge.