A BMW driver tried to overtake a minibus carrying special needs school children then smashed head-on into another car in what an Oxford judge branded an act of ‘stupidity and impatience’.

Gabriele Wilson, 47, went to pass the bus and two other cars as she neared a bend on the B4022 near Witney shortly before 8.30am on September 17 last year.

As she crested the bend on the wrong-side of the road, she struck another car head on. The two women in the car were left with devastating injuries that put both in hospital.

In a victim personal statement read to the court by prosecutor Cathy Olliver, the driver of the other car said: “I am angry that this has all happened through no fault of my own. I hope whatever sentence is received they will think twice and remember it’s not just them that bad decisions affect.” She added: “We could have died.”

However, Judge Nigel Daly imposed suspended Wilson’s 16 month term of imprisonment for two years after noting that an immediate jail term was not necessary to protect the public, she was remorseful for her actions and would be banned from driving for four years.

He told the Charlbury woman, who kept her head bowed as she sat in her wheelchair in the well of the courtroom: “You took an extreme risk and it did not pay off.

“Why did you do it? Well, I’m afraid I put it down to simple impatience. You decided you were going to get past those three vehicles come what may and tried to do so.

“As a result you collided head on with the car.

“It was a remarkably dangerous piece of driving. It was stupid, as indeed one of the drivers of the other vehicles commented.

“As a result of that stupidity and impatience both [the victims] were severely injured.”

Opening the facts at Oxford Crown Court on Monday afternoon, Ms Olliver said Wilson was two cars behind the minibus on the B4022 near Whiteoak Green when she pulled out from the line of traffic.

The driver of one of the cars Wilson passed in her adapted BMW later told police it was obvious to him it was a ‘stupid manoeuvre’ and he slowed down to try and give her room to pull back in. “I knew it was going to end badly,” he said.

CCTV from the minibus, which was taking children from a special school to Witney, showed the head-on collision. Both victims suffered significant broken bones, injuries to their stomachs and had to spend lengthy periods in hospital. In their victim statements, both women spoke of the enduring impact the accident had.

Wilson was said to have no previous convictions, although had been caught speeding 10 days before the crash on September 17, 2020.

Lyall Thompson, mitigating, said her client had significant physical and mental health issues. She used a wheelchair and any driving ban would have a significant impact upon her life. She was remorseful and had expressed an interest in restorative justice.

Wilson, of Hughes Close, Charlbury, admitted two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

As part of her 16 month prison sentence she must complete up to 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days. She was banned from driving for four years and must complete an extended retest if she wants to drive again.

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