Mary Graham, a 68-year-old retired legal secretary, was killed following the crash on the A1(M) in Durham on the evening of August 2.
She had been travelling back from Newcastle after watching her nephew play rugby. Mrs Graham was with her family in a Toyota Yaris that was in collision with a Ford Transit.
She died in hospital from her injuries two days later.
The Transit driver, Razwan Hussain, of Pilgrim Avenue, Dewsbury, admitted being over the drink-drive limit, aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance at a recent appearance at Teesside Crown Court.
However, he pleaded not guilty to two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He was remanded in custody for a trial on January 28 that will be held at Teesside Crown Court.