Accident investigators have urged witnesses to a crash which has left a man with life-threatening injuries to help them piece together what happened leading up to the collision.
The 46-year-old man was airlifted to hospital by the Great North Air Ambulance after his red Vauxhall Zafira left the northbound carriageway of the A19 near Castle Eden and struck a tree.
The incident happened at 1.45pm yesterday afternoon, near to the Hutton Henry turn off on the northbound carriageway near Peterlee.
The police, fire service, ambulance and air ambulance all attended the scene and the man, from Middlesbrough, is currently in James Cook Hospital with what are described as life threatening injuries.
The road was closed for two hours while the recovery operation took place.
Firefighters from Peterlee worked with medics to put the man on a spinal board after cutting off the passenger door and removing the windscreen of the car.
Anyone who witnessed this incident is asked to call Pc Mike Fisher from Durham Constabulary’s Accident Investigation Unit on 101.