A SCHOOLBOY died when the 4x4 he was a passenger in left the road and smashed into a wall.
The 15-year-old, from East Boldon, who has not been named by police, was sitting in the back seat of the Land Rover Defender when it crashed.
He was confirmed dead at the scene by paramedics as major diversions were put in place on the road.
Firefighters and police were called to the A66 near the Bowes Moor Hotel, close to Barnard Castle, on Friday night.
The driver of the 4x4, an 18-year-old man, also from East Boldon, was taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital suffering from shock and injuries to his face and back.
He has since been released from hospital.
The front-seat passenger, a 47-year-old woman, also from the same area, was taken to the same hospital with head and chest injuries, although these are not thought to be life-threatening.
She is still receiving treatment in hospital.
The silver Land Rover had been travelling on the westbound carriageway of the road when the accident happened.
Shortly after passing the hotel, the vehicle crossed both lanes and left the carriageway, before colliding with a dry stone wall, causing extensive damage.
The westbound carriageway of the A66 was closed between 8pm and 1am on Saturday.
Anyone who witnessed the collision, which happened shortly before 7pm, or saw the vehicle shortly before the accident happened is asked to contact Pc Mick Baxter of Durham Constabulary’s collision investigation unit on 375 2159.
Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111.