See footage as killer driver driver tells police ‘mistakes happen… I’m not a bad person’ after horror A1 crash

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

Darryl Anderson was jailed for 17 years and three months after causing the death of eight-month-old Zackary Blades and his auntie, Karlene Warner, aged 30. Durham Crown Court heard that the 38-year-old had been driving at 141mph while intoxicated and using his phone before his Audi struck a Peugeot on the A1(M) between Chester-le-Street and Durham on May 31.

Judge Jo Kidd told the court that Anderson sent Whatsapp messages during the drive, and seconds before the fatal crash he took a screenshot of his speedometer, where a warning sign alerting him to an impending obstacle was also visible. The obstacle was the Peugoet, which was being driven by Zackary’s mum, Shalorna Warner, the judge added.

Bodycam footage from Durham Constabulary police officers following the collision show that Anderson was breathalysed at the roadside, where he admitted that he had consumed “a little bit” of alcohol on a flight back from holiday. He was travelling to Yorkshire from Newcastle Airport at the time of the crash.

In the footage released by the force, Anderson returns an alcohol reading of 95 micrograms, which is well above the legal limit of 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. He later goes on to tell officers: “I’ve drove into the back of another car, yeah?” he gives a slight pause before adding: “Now, sometimes mistakes happen, but I’m not a bad person”.

Anderson sat in court as heart-breaking victim statements were read out, including one from Shalorna[1], who recalled the moment her baby was found by a lorry driver on the opposite side of the carriageway after his chair was flung from the car.

She said: “I heard a painful scream from the lorry driver crying, ‘Oh no, he’s here – your baby’s here.’ I jumped over to find my baby lying on the edge of the grass of the motorway. I knew instantly. I had to pick my dead baby up from the side of the road. I hugged him so tight, a hug I will never forget.

“No words will surmount the irreparable hole that has been left in my heart and in my life. Zackary was my rainbow baby – he was the light at the end of a 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 stolen from me. I won’t ever see him look up and smile at me again. I won’t have that luxury. Instead, every second of every day I relive that night over and over again in my head, thinking what did my innocent little boy do to deserve this?

“And for my sister, Karlene, I just have no words. I am so sorry this happened to you. It’s hard to process something that doesn’t seem real – it just feels like I am living a nightmare. I will feel the ripples of this pain for the rest of my life. I don’t know if I will be able to get through this – I am scarred, I am traumatised, I am petrified to live my life.”

Anderson, of Clarell Walk, Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham, was also handed a 21-and-a-half year driving ban and must sit an extended retest if he wants his licence back.


  1. ^ including one from Shalorna (