The family of Susan Shaw have spoken of their pain and relief after the driver of the car that hit her pleaded guilty to causing her death.
Annette Shaw, Susan’s mother, said they have been given a life sentence and that her daughter has been ‘taken away too early’.
Damian Raeburn, 31, of Stanley Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court on Thursday to causing death by dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.
He was remanded in custody to be sentenced on February 21 and warned by the judge to expect a ‘very substantial’ jail sentence.
Mum-of-two Susan, from Rishton, was walking on High Street in Rishton shortly before 6pm on Boxing Day when she was in collision with a Vauxhall Corsa.
The car, driven by Raeburn, had been pursued by police prior to the incident.
The accident caused her catastrophic injuries and Susan died at the scene.
Charity fundraiser Susan, 47, was a carer for her two adult children, Leanne, 27, and Adam, 25.
Leanne suffers from severe epilepsy, absences and requires one-to-one care.
Adam also suffers from severe epilepsy, but he also is unable to speak and needs help eating and washing.
Speaking after the plea hearing, Annette Shaw said: “While there is some relief at the decision taken by the defendant to take responsibility for his actions today and plead guilty, nothing can undo what has happened or help mend the huge impact on mine and the rest of the family’s lives and take away our pain.
“The whole family remains traumatised by Susan’s death.
“As a family, we believe we have been given a life sentence and that my daughter has been taken away too early and her two beautiful, vulnerable children are now left without a mother and a carer.
“Susan was a much loved and cherished family member, and a well-loved member of the community.
“She was always generous with her time, with both friends and strangers alike. It is heartbreaking what has happened to her. She did not deserve it.”
Matthew Garson, the road accident legal expert at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “The consequences of dangerous driving on the road were fatally highlighted on Boxing Day last year.
“Nothing is more important than your own safety and the safety of others on the roads. Due to the actions of the defendant, two vulnerable adults are left without their mother and carer. We will continue to work with the family to ensure that Leanne and Adam receive the support they need going forward.”
Susan's funeral service was held at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, followed by committal at Accrington Crematorium, on Tuesday, January 30.
Hundreds of people lined the streets and the church was standing-room only as the village paid a poignant tribute.
Nearly 500 well-wishers shocked by Susan’s death had helped support the family with funeral costs by raising more than £8,500 on an online donation page.
Since Susan’s death, local charity group ‘Switch On Rishton Group’, of which Susan was an active member, have been working on planting a tree in Susan’s memory and fundraising for the family.
A fundraising disco has been organised in memory of Susan. It will take place at Rishton Conservative Club on Friday, February 2, from 7.30pm. Entry costs £5 and the DJ is Steve Elliot and proceeds will go to Susan’s family.