A man has appeared in court charged with causing the death of a woman and her eight-month-old nephew in a crash on the A1(M).

Baby Zackary Blades and 30-year-old Karlene Warner were killed in a horror crash in the early hours of Friday (May 31) morning near Chester-le-Street.

The pair, who were travelling in a Peugeot 308 driven by Zackary’s mum and Karlene’s sister Shalorna Warner, were pronounced dead at the scene.

The Northern Echo: Eight-month-old Zackary Blades and 30-year-old Karlene Warner.Eight-month-old Zackary Blades and 30-year-old Karlene Warner. (Image: DURHAM POLICE)

Rotherham man Darryl Anderson, who was driving an Audi Q5 also involved in the collision, appeared before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on Monday (June 3) morning charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

He was also charged with possession of a bladed article.

Anderson was flanked by two security guards, wore grey custody clothing and spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

He entered no pleas and District Judge Steven Hood remanded him in custody ahead of a future court date.

The Northern Echo: Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court.Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court. (Image: STUART BOULTON)

He will appear before Durham Crown Court on July 1, at 10am.

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Zackary and Karlene’s families were in the public gallery in court on Monday for the short ten-minute hearing.

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

Speaking about Karlene, they added: “You light up every room you walked into like the bright shining diamond that you were. You leave behind the most precious daughter in Everly, and she will know how amazing and special you were.”