Womenz Magazine

Drunk Driver Sentenced to 17 Years for High-Speed Crash That Killed Two ‘I’m Not a Bad Person’

Sharlona Warner and Natalie Horner
Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA via AP

Darryl Anderson was drunk behind the wheel of his Audi SUV, with his accelerator pressed to the floor, racing towards a car ahead when he snapped a photo of his speedometer. The image captured a car in the foreground, a collision warning light on its dashboard, and a speed of 141 mph (227 kph).

Moments later, Anderson crashed into the car in the photo. The driver, Shalorna Warner, survived, but her 8-month-old son, Zackary Blades, and her sister, Karlene Warner, were killed instantly. Authorities confirmed that Anderson never attempted to brake.

Anderson, 38, was sentenced on Tuesday to 17 years in prison for the May 31 crash in northern England. He pleaded guilty last week in Durham Crown Court to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

In court, Shalorna Warner recounted the horrifying event. She remembered her Peugeot spinning, seeing her sister gravely injured, and frantically searching for her son after the car came to a rest. A trucker who had stopped to help found Zackary 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”, told Newsmax.

Following the crash, Anderson lied to police, claiming a hitchhiker was driving. Prosecutor Emma Dowling stated that a roadside breath test showed Anderson was nearly three times over the legal limit. An empty vodka bottle was found in his car, and witnesses reported that he had been driving dangerously for 20 miles (32 kilometers) while sending text messages.

At the police station, Anderson admitted to driving into the back of the car, saying, “Sometimes mistakes happen. But I’m not a bad person”, according to Fox News.

Judge Joanne Kidd, who banned Anderson from driving for 21 years post-release, condemned his actions, stating he played “Russian roulette” with others’ lives. Defense lawyer Richard Dawson said Anderson, who was married with a daughter, was “profoundly sorry.”

Durham Detective Constable Natalie Horner emphasized the police’s ongoing efforts to remind drivers about the dangers of speeding, using phones behind the wheel, and driving under the influence.

“Darryl Anderson was doing all three of those things,” Horner said. “Anderson has been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison, but it is his victims and their family who have been handed life sentences.”

The tragic incident serves as a sobering reminder of the devastating consequences of reckless driving and the irreversible impact it can have on innocent lives.

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