Man sentenced for death by dangerous driving crash which killed baby and aunt

A man who admitted causing death by dangerous driving in a crash on the A1 which killed a baby boy and his aunt will be sentenced on Tuesday.

Darryl Anderson, 38, was driving an Audi Q5 when he crashed into a Peugeot 308, killing eight-month-old Zackary Blades and 30-year-old Karlene Warner.

It happened between Chester-le-Street and Durham at around 3.15am on Friday May 31.

Zackary’s mother, Sharlona Warner, who was driving the Peugeot, suffered minor injuries.

Anderson, of Clarell Walk, Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving at a hearing at Durham Crown Court last week.

Around 30 devastated family members of the two victims were in court for the hearing.

Baby and aunt car crash death
A tribute was paid to Karlene Warner (Durham Police/PA)

Judge Joanne Kidd delayed sentencing until Tuesday July 9 to allow the grieving relatives time to prepare victim statements, now that they could be told more about the circumstances of how their loved ones died.

After the crash, Shalorna Warner and Zackary’s father, Jack Blades, paid tribute to their son.

“I’m so sorry you never got to grow up,” they said.

“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.”

The family also paid tribute to Ms Warner, saying: “How do we put into words to describe the amazing mother, partner, daughter, sister, granddaughter, auntie, niece, and friend Karlene was?

“You light up every room you walked into like the bright shining diamond that you were.

“You had so much to look forward to in life and that has been taken.”