A MOTORIST was rushed to hospital after his Peugeot 206 crashed into a lamppost on the A19 in the early hours.
The northbound carriageway was closed for almost five hours after the serious smash, near Easington services.
Two fire engines from Peterlee Fire Station were sent to the incident around 12.30am on Friday and crew members had to cut the man from the wreckage.
The driver, a 24 year old man from Hartlepool was taken to James Cook Hospital with life threatening injuries, this morning his condition was described as critical but stable.
A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service said: “We got the call at 12.32am and we were on scene at 12.37am.
“Our Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) also attended and we took one casualty to James Cook University Hospital.
“The patient was poorly.”
Fire crews spent an hour at the scene and diversions were in place via the A182 at Easington during the road closure.
Police are now appealing for witnesses.
Anyone who witnessed the collision, or the Peugeot 206 prior to the collision, is asked to call police on 101.