Mum scours motorway after baby catapulted from car and killed in 140mph crash | UK | News

Zackary Blades

Zackary Blades was killed in the horror crash (Image: PA)

A distraught mother was left scouring a motorway for her eight-month-old baby after a killer driver smashed into her vehicle at 140mph whilst three times over the drink drive limit and using his phone.

Darryl Anderson, 38, was playing „Russian roulette“ with the lives of other drivers when he killed little Zackary Blades and the infant’s aunt, air stewardess Karlene Warner, 30, a court heard.

Anderson took a photograph on his phone of the dashboard of his Audi Q5 three seconds before the fatal impact, which showed he was driving at 141mph and the vehicle was flashing a red collision warning alert.

However Durham Crown Court heard he was so drunk and distracted that he didn’t even see the Peugeot 308 feet ahead of him being driven by Zacakary’s unsuspecting mother Shalorna Warner.

The impact was such that it ripped away the back of Ms Warner’s car and catapulted Zackary, who was strapped into his babyseat, over 50 metres across the A1M between Chester-le-Street and Durham.

In mid-air the tragic tot was thrust from his seat and landed on the roadside verge on the opposite carriageway.

Darryl Anderson

Darryl Anderson was playing „Russian roulette“ with the lives of other drivers (Image: Durham Constabulary)

He was found by a lorry driver as his frantic mother waved down oncoming traffic screaming „Zack, Zack.“

As she realised her son could not have survived the horror smash, Ms Warner was told that her sister was dead in the passenger seat of the vehicle.

When police arrived bodycam footage showed Anderson callously telling officers: „Everyone makes mistakes.“

Later at hospital he flirted with nurses and cracked jokes and accident investigators found an empty bottle of vodka in the wreckage of his vehicle.

When he later realised the enormity of his actions, Anderson made up a story that he’d picked up a mystery hitchhiker, who was driving the car at the time of impact.

Both cars had driven away from Newcastle International Airport in the early hours of May 31st this year, Karlene being picked up by Shalorna after a holiday, with baby Zackary „safely strapped into his car seat in the rear.“

Sharlona Warner, the mother of eight-month-old Zackary Blades

Sharlona Warner, the mother of eight-month-old Zackary Blades (Image: PA)

Anderson was returning alone from Antalya where he had gone on holiday with his wife – but she had left him and flown home early due to his bad behaviour on the trip.

The couple had not been married long, but when he collected the keys for his car from a car park attendant, Anderson told him: „I’m going to go to Bradford to find a new wife.“

He was jailed for 17 years and three months by Judge Joanne Kidd, who told him: „You played Russian roulette with the lives of every man, woman and child you passed on that journey.

„The level of your intoxication, your aggressive and entitled driving, your speed and the use of your phone made it inevitable you would come into collision with another road user.

„At a speed of 140 miles per hour, with your foot fully depressed on the accelerator you were inevitably going to cause serious injury and the probability of a fatality.“

Judge Kidd referred to the heartbreaking statement read to the court by Zackary’s mother as she described the horror of being unable to find him.

Wiping tears from her face, Ms Warner said she remembered the impact which sent her car spinning.

She glanced to her left to see her fatally injured sibling slumped in the air bag but knew she had to try and rescue her baby.

She left the car telling Karlene: „I will came back for you.“

Shalorna said: „I ran to the left rear side of the car where Zackary would have been, but there was no back of the car, it was crushed.

„I could not see my baby, I was standing on wreckage, picking up smashed bits of the car and throwing them, trying to find him but he was not there. I was screaming his name and I called 999.

„I saw the other driver and I ran to him and said ‚help I cannot find my baby.’I was screaming „Zack, Zack.“

„He did not help, he never helped. I began running up to the traffic waving my arms and screaming at cars to help me.“

On the opposite carriageway a lorry driver pulled over and warned her not to run towards the traffic.

She found Zackary’s car seat and turned it over, only to find he was not inside it before a scream of anguish from the lorry driver confirmed her worst fears.

Shalorna added: „I heard a painful scream from the lorry driver, he was shouting, „he’s here, your baby is here.“ I ran over and I found Zackary on the grass.

„I picked up my dead baby from the side of the road, he had been propelled 50 metres and had landed on his head.“

Turning briefly to Anderson, who refused to lift his head to meet her gaze, she said: „You have left a broken shell of a woman and a childless mother.“

Anderson, from Rotherham, South Yorks, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving in the smash, which occurred at 3.17am.

Richard Dawson, mitigating, said „No explanation can be provided by him for how this fatal accident occurred, but in all likelihood the combination of his speed, intoxication and the distraction of his

mobile phone meant he failed to see the vehicle ahead of him, hence the absence of braking.

„He is profoundly sorry and through me would seek to apologise to all those concerned.“

Mother-of-one Karlene’s dad Nigel Warner said she had worked hard to achieve her dream of becoming cabin crew and was excited for her future.

He faced Anderson in court as he read out his own emotionally charged statement.

Addressing the Audi driver, Mr Anderson said: „You were a drunken man in a killing machine.

„You put the keys in the ignition of that car while under the influence of alcohol …. BANG

„You put your foot to the floor accelerating to 140mph ….BANG

„You took a photograph of your speedo to show off …..BANG

„Three bullets were fired that day. Two of them killed Zackary and Karlene and the other went through our hearts leaving a trail of devastation and destruction.“

Karlene’s partner Kieran Hutchinson repeatedly demanded Anderson look up and face him as he made his statement, however he continued to look straight ahead.

Mr Hutchinson said he would be forced to explain to his daughter how desperately she was loved by her mother.

He told the court: „I will be picking up the pieces of her broken heart everywhere I go.“

Judge Kidd told Anderson that he had intended making a journey of 200 miles back to Rotherham in an intoxicated state, a journey that would have taken three hours.

Even though he initially missed the junction for the motorway after travelling through Newcastle, he was travelling so fast that he quickly caught up with Ms Warner’s car despite having to take a detour

of just under four miles.

As well as jailing Anderson Judge Kidd also disqualified him from driving for 21 years and six months, telling him he could only reapply for his licence after serving his sentence.

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