The sickening moment a drink driver killed a ‘cheeky’ baby and his aunt in a horror crash tells police ‘mistakes happen’

A drink-driver told police “mistakes are made sometimes” after killing a baby and his aunt in a horrific crash.

Darryl Anderson, 38, had just taken a photo of his speedometer showing he was traveling at 141 mph moments before he crashed into a car carrying toddler Zackary Blades.

Zackary Blades died in the accidentCredit: PA
Her aunt Karlene Walker also died in the horror.Credit: PA
Darryl Anderson has been jailed for 17 yearsCredit: PA
Anderson told police that ‘mistakes happen sometimes’Credit: Unpixs

He then failed to help frantic mother Shalorna Warner search for her eight-month-old son, who was thrown from the vehicle onto the opposite carriageway of the A1 in County Durham.

Shalorna’s sister Karlene, 30, a flight attendant, also died in the incident earlier this summer.

The mother tearfully recalled how she held her “rainbow” baby close before he and his aunt were pronounced dead at the scene.

Anderson was sentenced today to 17 years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

He denied illegally possessing a knife and an axe at the time of the accident, and his statement was accepted by prosecutors.

Anderson showed shocking indifference to his actions, with a police body camera capturing him saying: “I rear-ended another car (sic). Sometimes mistakes are made, but I’m not a bad person.”

He continued his insensitive behavior in the hospital, where he joked with the nurses.

Sharlona tearfully recounted how she had to search for her son.

She said: “I remember a scream, then we stopped. I looked at Karlene, she was pushed forward and her head slammed into the dashboard.

“I screamed her name, hoping she would make a sound or move. In my head, I thought, ‘Karlene, I’m coming back to you, I need to get to my baby.’

“I got out of the car. I ran to the left rear, where Zackary should have been. There was no rear end of the car; it was crushed.

“He wasn’t there. I called out for his name. I called 999 at 3:19am. All this happened in two minutes.

“That’s when I saw the other driver (Darryl Anderson). I ran towards him. He didn’t help me… he never helped.

“About 100 metres away I found Zackary’s car seat. It was crushed. I turned it over and he still wasn’t there.”

Sharlona revealed how a truck screamed: “Oh no, it’s here, your baby’s here.”

He then found Zackary “lying on the grassy edge of the highway.”

Anderson’s Audi after the accidentCredit: NCJMedia
He was given a breathalyzer test after the horrific crash.Credit: PA
The footage shows him leaving Newcastle Airport before killing the baby and the aunt.Credit: PA

The distraught mother added: “I knew instantly. I had to pick up my dead baby from the roadside. I hugged him so tightly, a hug I will never forget.

“There are no words that can fill the irreparable void that has been left in my heart and in my life. Zackary was my rainbow baby: he was the light at the end of the tunnel in a very dark time for me and he brought joy, happiness and laughter to my life.

“I will feel the consequences of this pain for the rest of my life. I don’t know if I will be able to overcome it. I am scarred, traumatized, and afraid to live my life.

“The impact of these events will amplify the difficult times and overshadow any good times I may have, because Zackary and Karlene live in my heart, and I will never live a normal life without them.”

The horror unfolded on May 31 when Sharlona and Zackary picked up cabin crew member Karlene in their Peugeot 308 at Newcastle Airport.

Anderson had been drinking excessively on a plane returning from a vacation that he cut short after fighting with his wife.

The driver, travelling in an Audi Q5, crashed into the trio between Chester-Le-Street and Durham at around 3am, killing Zackary and his aunt.

Shalorna suffered minor injuries in the tragedy.

Anderson was breathalysed at the scene and exhaled 95mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath (the legal limit is 35mg).

Baby Zackary died instantly in the horror.Credit: PA
His mother was also injured.Credit: PA
Sharlona Warner, front right, told how she searched for her son after the accident.Credit: PA

Police also found an empty vodka bottle in the wreckage of his car.

He had taken a photograph with his phone showing the speedometer at 141 mph just three seconds before the crash.

The snap even showed the vehicle was flashing a red collision warning alert, but the court heard he was too drunk to notice the Peugeot Sharlona was driving.

Post-crash analysis revealed that he had the accelerator fully depressed, did not brake before impact, and that a collision warning light came on on the dashboard.

Sharlona and Zackary’s father later paid tribute to his son, saying: “I’m so sorry you never got to grow up.

“Our little Zack, mommy and daddy love you so much that you didn’t deserve any of this.

“You were such a happy, cheeky kid.

“I’m so sorry this happened. Our hearts are broken. We will never forget you, you will always be in our hearts.”

The family also paid tribute to Karlene, saying: “How can we put into words what an incredible mother, partner, daughter, sister, granddaughter, aunt, niece and friend Karlene was?

“You light up every room you walk into like the bright, sparkling diamond you were.

“You had so much to look forward to in life and it’s been taken away from you.”

Shocking images showed the consequences of the accidentCredit: NNP
Karlene Warner had been picked up at the airport by her sister.Credit: PA