Watch footage of killer driver telling police: ‘Mistakes happen… I’m not a bad person’ after horror crash on A1

A speeding drink driver told police “mistakes happen sometimes but I’m not a bad person” after killing an eight-month-old baby and her aunt in a horror A1 crash.

Darryl Anderson has been jailed for 17 years and three months after causing the deaths of eight-month-old Zackary Blades and his aunt, Karlene Warner, 30. Durham Crown Court heard the 38-year-old had been drink-driving at 141mph and using his phone before his Audi crashed into a Peugeot on the A1(M) between Chester-le-Street and Durham on May 31.

Judge Jo Kidd told the court Anderson sent WhatsApp messages during the journey and seconds before the fatal crash took a screenshot of his speedometer, which also showed a warning sign alerting him to an impending obstacle. The obstacle was the Peugeot, which was being driven by Zackary’s mother Shalorna Warner, the judge added.

Bodycam footage from Durham Police officers following the collision shows Anderson was given a roadside breathalyzer test, where he admitted he had consumed “a little bit” of alcohol on a flight back from his holiday. He was travelling to Yorkshire from Newcastle Airport at the time of the crash.

In the footage released by police, Anderson returns a result of 95 micrograms of alcohol, well above the legal limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. He later goes on to tell officers: “I’ve rear-ended another car, haven’t I?” He pauses briefly before adding: “Sometimes mistakes are made, but I’m not a bad person.”

Anderson sat in court as heartbreaking statements were read from victims, including one from Shalorna, who recalled the moment a truck driver found her baby on the opposite side of the road after his car seat was thrown from the car.

She said: “I heard a painful scream from the lorry driver shouting, ‘Oh no, he’s here, your baby’s here’. I jumped out and found my baby lying on the grass verge of the motorway. I knew instantly. I had to pick my dead baby up from the hard shoulder. 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.

“My baby’s future, my future, our life together, has been stolen from me. I will never see him look at me and smile again. I won’t have that luxury. Instead, every second of every day I replay that night over and over in my head, thinking: What did my innocent little boy do to deserve this?

“And to my sister, Karlene, I have no words. I’m so sorry this happened to you. It’s hard to process something that doesn’t feel real; I feel like I’m living a nightmare. I’ll feel the consequences of this pain for the rest of my life. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over this; I’m scarred, traumatized, scared to live my life.”

Anderson, of Clarell Walk, Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham, was also banned from driving for 21-and-a-half years and will have to take a further extended test if he is to get his licence back.

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