A STABBED motorist drove five miles before crashing into a road sign causing his car to erupt in flames.
The driver is today in a serious condition in hospital after he was knifed in the back and chest during the assault.
Police are appealing for witnesses who might have seen the 34-year-old man as he drove between Washington and Sunderland.
Officers were called to Sevenoaks Drive, Hastings Hill, at 9.45pm, on Wednesday, after the man was found with the injuries.
The attack happened earlier that evening in Rowan Avenue, Washington.
The victim was in his car, a grey Peugeot, when he was assaulted and he managed to drive several miles to Sevenoaks Drive where he collided with a road sign and his vehicle then caught fire. The airbag in the car inflated and the man was rescued by firefighters.
Police and paramedics also attended and the injured man was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle with serious injuries. His condition is described as stable.
The fire service put out the blaze and made the vehicle safe. No one else is believed to have been injured during the incident.
Police are now appealing for witnesses and ask that anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious to contact officers. One man said: “There was a car parked up on the sliproad between the A19 and Hastings Hill roundabout. The airbag had inflated and there was a lot of police activity.”
Superintendent Jim Napier, from Sunderland Area Command, said: “This is a most unusual incident and officers are still trying to establish the full details of what has taken place.
“We have additional uniformed patrols taking place in this area to reassure residents. Anyone with any concerns about this incident or anyone with any information is urged to speak to an officer.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101, ext 69191, quoting log number 1277 of 18/06/14 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.