A DYING mother begged emergency services to look after her children first following a horror car crash.

Nicola Drummond, 44, was driving in an orange Suzuki on the Angmering bypass with her children Jacob, then aged 14, and Lucy, then aged six.

Her vehicle was struck by a Honda being driven by pensioner Ronald Dossett, who had veered across the central reservation.

The mother suffered devastating internal injuries and was airlifted to hospital where she later died.

At Lewes Crown Court Dossett admitted causing death by careless driving during the incident on January 17, 2019.

The court heard the heartbreaking evidence of Mrs Drummond’s son Jacob who remembered his mother’s final words to emergency services.

“Get to my kids,” she told them as the family were left trapped in the wreckage of the vehicle.

The Argus:

In a heartfelt tribute to his wife in court her husband Steven Drummond explained the “devastating” loss for the whole family

“Her loss has changed our lives beyond words,” he said.

“Her death has been an enormous loss to us all. She was my soul mate and my best friend.

“We shared nearly three decades together, and we counted all the good things and the bad things that life can throw at you.

“She never felt phased by this. She was a positive, forthright, go-getter and always had the best interests of her family at heart."

Read more on this story: Husband's emotional tribute to wife killed in horror car crash in Angmering

Judge Christine Laing QC jailed 75-year-old Dossett for one year and said she could not suspend the sentence over the “terrifying” crash.

“This is a powerful reminder of the responsibility all of us have to bear when we get behind the wheel,” The judge said.

“We have a responsibility to be fit enough and alert enough to be driving and not allow ourselves to be distracted.

“This cannot possibly be described as momentary inattention.”

Expert evidence showed that Dossett’s car veered across the central reservation and he had taken no steps to steer clear of Mrs Drummond, who steered “desperately” to avoid being struck.

The judge said he must either have fallen asleep at the wheel or been distracted and not paying attention to the road.

The Argus: Ronald Dossett has been jailed over the crashRonald Dossett has been jailed over the crash

Dossett’s own wife was injured in the crash, and both Jacob and Lucy were hurt.

A third driver David Billinghurst was also left injured and trapped in his van.

John Waller, prosecuting, said: “There were no defects to the defendant’s vehicle and no evidence of mobile phone usage.

“The defendant veered into oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle head on.

“We can only speculate as to how this tragic event occurred. But we can be sure it was as a direct result of the defendant failing to maintain his course in the southbound lane and his failure to react to Nicola Drummond.”

Edward Hand, defending, said his client had struggled to come to terms with the fact he was responsible for the crash, but said he has shown remorse.

Dossett, of Marks Tey Road, Fareham, is a carer for his wife, and has type-II diabetes which would make any prison spell particularly difficult for him.

But the judge said Dossett’s “empathy” was “not remorse for having caused that loss”.