POLICE are appealing for witnesses after two motorists died in a smash with a heavy goods vehicle.
A 20-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman riding a motorbike were pronounced dead at the scene following the collision on the A19.
The driver of the HGV, a 51-year-old man, from Pontefract, was uninjured.
The crash took place just after 2.45am and the A19 northbound near Hawthorn services.
The road has been closed for most of the day, however the southbound carriage way has now been reopened, and one lane is open on the northbound carriageway.
The HGV driver was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.
He was interviewed at Peterlee Police Station, and has been bailed until September 25 pending further enquiries.
Investigating officer Sergeant Jonathan Morgan has appealed for anyone who may have seen either of the vehicles prior to the collision to come forward.
He said: “While we work to establish what happened in the lead up to the collision, we would ask for anyone who may have seen either of the vehicles in the lead up to collision to come forward as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information should contact collision investigation.
Tel: 0191 375 2159.