Driver Whose Dash Photo Showed 141mph Sentenced

Woman, 8-month-old were killed in crash that followed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 9, 2024 4:30 PM CDT
Driver Whose Dash Photo Showed 141mph Sentenced
Sharlona Warner, right, the mother of 8-month-old Zackary Blades, speaks to the media alongside Detective Constable Natalie Horner, left, outside Durham Crown Court, in Durham. England, on Tuesday.   (Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)

Darryl Anderson had his accelerator of his Audi SUV pressed to the floor and was barreling toward a car ahead of him when he snapped a photo of his speedometer. The picture showed a car in the foreground, a collision warning light on his dashboard, and a speed of 141mph. An instant later, he slammed into the car in the photo. The driver, Shalorna Warner, was not seriously injured, but her 8-month-old son and her sister were killed instantly, authorities said. Evidence showed Anderson, who was drunk, never braked. Anderson, 38, was sentenced Tuesday in London to 17 years in prison for the May 31 crash in northern England that killed Zackary Blades and Karlene Warner, the AP reports.

Anderson pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving. Shalorna Warner told the court that she remembered her Peugeot spinning, seeing her sister gravely injured and, when the car came to a rest, frantically trying to find her son, who had been ejected from the vehicle by the impact. A trucker who stopped to help found him on the other side of the highway. "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," Warner said. "No words will surmount the irreparable hole that has been left in my heart and in my life."

Anderson lied to police, saying a hitchhiker was driving at the time. A prosecutor said a breath test showed Anderson at nearly three times the alcohol limit for driving. Witnesses reported that he had been driving dangerously for 20 miles and that his phone showed he was sending text messages. At a police station, he told officers he had driven into the back of a car. "Sometimes mistakes happen," he said. "But I'm not a bad person." A defense lawyer said Anderson was "profoundly sorry." Durham Detective Constable Natalie Horner said police routinely remind drivers not to speed, use their phones behind the wheel, and drive drunk. "Darryl Anderson was doing all three of those things," Horner said, adding that the victims and their families "have been handed life sentences."

(More drunk driving stories.)

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