Woman and eight-month-old baby boy both killed in horrific car crash on A1

Loved ones have paid tribute to a baby boy and a woman who were killed in a horror crash[1] on the A1.

Eight-month-old Zackary Blades and his aunt Karlene Warner, 30, died following a collision in County Durham on Friday. The two had been travelling in a car driven by Zackary’s mum Shalorna Warner between Chester-le-Street and Durham when their Peugeot was struck by a Audi Q5, police said.

The pair’s family have now issued a heartbreaking tribute as they said, “we don’t know how to carry on without you both”. Shalorna and Zackary’s dad, Jack Blades, issued a statement, saying: “We are absolutely heartbroken to announce the tragic death of our beautiful son, Zackary.”

Karlene Warner died following a crash on the A1 on Friday
Karlene Warner died following a crash on the A1 on Friday (
Durham Police/PA Wire)

The statement, issued through Durham Police[2], added: “We only had you in our arms for eight months but in that time, you brought us so much happiness to all our lives. We had so many amazing memories together as a family that will never ever be forgotten; thank you for giving us the best Christmas[3] and holiday together in that time.

“You started crawling from such an early stage, you absolutely loved your food, you started to say mama, your top teeth had just come through, you were climbing the stairs and would always laugh while doing it because you knew you were being naughty.

“You were so close to standing up on your own. I’m so sorry you never got to grow up. Our little Zack – mammy and daddy love you so much, you didn’t deserve any of this. You were such a happy, cheeky boy. I am so sorry this has happened – our hearts are truly broken. We will never forget you, you will always be in our hearts.

“We miss you so much and will for the rest of our lives. We know your Auntie Karlene will take the best care of you. Rest in peace our gorgeous little boy, you will never be forgotten Zackary William Blades.”

The fatal smash, which happened in the early hours of the morning, resulted in emergency services closing off the southbound carriageway for 16 hours. Police have since charged 38-year-old Darryl Anderson from Rotherham with causing death by dangerous driving and possession of a bladed article. He was due appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Friday's horror smash resulted in the A1 being partially closed for 16 hours
Friday’s horror smash resulted in the A1 being partially closed for 16 hours (
North News & Pictures Ltd northnews.co.uk)

Aunt Karlene, who was also a mum – leaving behind daughter, Everly, was described as a “bright shining diamond”. “How do we put into words to describe the amazing mother, partner, daughter, sister, granddaughter, auntie, niece, and friend Karlene was?” the family said.

“You light up every room you walked into like the bright shining diamond that you were. You leave behind the most precious daughter in Everly, and she will know how amazing and special you were. You had so much to look forward to in life and that has been taken. You would go and above and beyond to help anyone and cared so much for others, always putting others before yourself.

“Your crazy, sassy, funny, beautiful, presence will stay with us forever and is so evident in your beautiful little girl. You may be gone but you live on through Everly.

“Life for us will continue but we don’t know how to carry on without you both. You had found your soulmate in Keiran, and he loved you so much and will treasure the memories you, him and Everly shared together. We find comfort knowing that you are with our beautiful Zackary and you are together. Sleep tight Karlene and fly high forever. You are loved beyond measure.”

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  1. ^ horror crash (www.mirror.co.uk)
  2. ^ Durham Police (www.mirror.co.uk)
  3. ^ Christmas (www.chroniclelive.co.uk)
  4. ^ Google News (news.google.com)
  5. ^ Flipboard (flipboard.com)
  6. ^ Apple News (apple.news)
  7. ^ Twitter (twitter.com)
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  9. ^ The Mirror (www.mirror.co.uk)