Darryl Anderson: Moment Drunk Driver Who Killed Irish Woman’s Baby Tells Police: ‘I’m Not a Bad Person’


Darryl Anderson (38) was sentenced to 17 years in prison in England this week for causing the horror crash.

The court heard he failed to help mother Shalorna Warner search for her baby son Zackary Blades, who had been thrown from her car and ended up on the carriageway opposite the A1.

The horrific crash between Chester-le-Street and Durham at 3.15am on 31 May also killed Warner’s sister Karlene, a flight attendant.

Anderson was filmed by a police bodycam while taking a breathalyzer test.

The photo shows him failing his driving test and telling police: “I’ve driven into the back of another car before, sometimes mistakes happen,” while insisting: “I’m not a bad person.”

Durham Crown Court heard Zackary and Karlene, 30, died instantly in the crash which destroyed the rear of Shalorna Warner’s Peugeot 308.

Analysis of the computer in Anderson’s Audi Q5 showed he had pressed the accelerator pedal all the way down and had not braked before impact.

When he took a picture with his mobile phone to show his speed, the Peugeot was visible in the picture. A warning light also came on on the dashboard.

Anderson lied and told police a hitchhiker was behind the wheel when his powerful SUV crashed into Ms. Warner’s car.

Anderson is subjected to a breath test

Anderson is subjected to a breath test

But last week he pleaded guilty at a hearing to two charges of causing death by dangerous driving.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling said a roadside breath test showed Anderson was almost three times over the drink-drive limit.

He had been drinking on the plane home from a holiday he had cut short after his wife left separately because of his erratic behaviour, the court heard.

Police found an empty bottle of vodka in his car.

Witnesses saw him driving dangerously on the 20 miles he travelled from Newcastle Airport before the crash, and analysis revealed he had been sending messages on WhatsApp.

Sharlona Warner had also gone to the airport to pick up her sister from a holiday, with her young son safely in the back of her car.

Mrs Warner made a victim impact statement, along with her father Nigel and Karlene’s partner, Kieran Hutchinson.

Wiping tears from her face, the horrified mother recalled the impact that sent her car spinning.

She looked to her left and saw Karlene clearly seriously injured in the passenger airbag, but she knew she had to help Zackary and called out to Karlene, “I’ll be back for you.”

Mrs Warner said: “I ran to the rear left of the car where Zackary would have been, but there was no rear of the car, it was crushed.

“I couldn’t see my baby, I was standing on the wreckage, picking up bits of the car and throwing them, trying to find him but he wasn’t there. I was screaming his name and calling 999.

“I saw the other driver and I ran over to him and said, ‘Help, I can’t find my baby. I screamed Zack, Zack.’

“He didn’t help, he never helped. I started running towards the traffic, waving my arms and screaming at cars to help me.”

She told the court she was on the road picking up trash and looking for Zackary’s car seat, and that a truck driver eventually found him on the other side of the road.

She said: “I heard a pained scream from the truck driver, he was shouting ‘he’s here, your baby is here.’ I ran over and found Zackary on the grass.

She said: “I knew straight away. I had to pick up my dead baby from the side of the road. I hugged him so tight, a hug I will never forget.

“No words can fill the irreparable hole left in my heart and in my life.

“Zackary was my rainbow baby – he was the light at the end of the tunnel of a very dark time for me and brought joy, happiness and laughter into my life.

“My baby’s future, my future, our life together, has been taken from me.

“And for my sister Karlene, I just have no words. I’m so sorry this happened to you. It’s hard to process something that doesn’t seem real – it just feels like I’m living a nightmare.

“I will feel the ripples of this pain for the rest of my life. I don’t know if I will get through this – I am scarred, I am traumatized, I am terrified to live my life.”

She turned to Anderson, who refused to lift his head, and said, “You left behind a broken shell of a woman and a childless mother.”

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

She added: “This guilt is not mine to bear – this guilt is owed to the person who caused this endless torment. I hope the pain of this will weigh on them forever.

“Nothing will bring my son and sister back. The only way for me to move forward is for the defendant to receive the same sentence I received – life in prison. The irony of it all is that I will never see my loved ones again, but he will.”

Baby Zack

Baby Zack

About 50 friends and family members of the two victims were present in court to discuss the sentence.

Judge Joanne Kidd sentenced Anderson to 17 years and three months in prison and disqualified him from driving for a further 21.5 years after his release.

Judge Kidd told Anderson he had been playing “Russian roulette” with the lives of other drivers that night and that a crash was inevitable.

“The level of intoxication, your aggressive and arrogant driving, your speed and the use of your telephone made it inevitable that you would collide with another road user.

“At 140 miles per hour, with your foot fully on the accelerator, you would inevitably cause serious injury and increase the chance of a fatal accident.”

Richard Dawson, defending him, said Anderson, who is married and has a daughter, was “deeply sorry”.

Outside court, Detective Constable Natalie Horner, of Durham Police’s Collision Investigation Unit, said: “As traffic officers, we routinely ask people not to drive faster than the speed limit.

“We routinely ask people not to use their cell phones while driving. And we routinely ask people not to drink and drive.

“Darryl Anderson did all three of these things when he collided with Shalorna Warner’s car, killing both passengers, Karlene and baby Zackary.

“For his actions, Anderson was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison, but it was his victims and their families who received life sentences.

“They are the ones who will mourn the rest of their lives for the loss of their son, their grandchild, their wife, their sister, their mother. And for what?”


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