Drivers faced traffic chaos on the A19 after a major crash left a woman fighting for her life.
The road has been closed near Sheraton following two incidents involving four cars near the turn off for the A179 to Hartlepool today.
The first incident occurred on A19 just after 10am this morning where it is believed a vehicle turned onto the A19 to travel north on the southbound carriageway at Sheraton and collided with another vehicle.
Two people have been taken to hospital with none life threatening injuries.
The second incident took place on the A19 at about 10.30am, where it is believed a VW Polo collided with a Ford Ka and a Mini Cooper.
Six people have been taken to local hospitals and it is believed that one person is in a critical condition.
One person has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.
Motorists on the A19 faced huge tailbacks, with police diverting traffic on the stretch near Peterlee.