FOUR people were taken to hospital following a pile-up on the A19 near Houghton.
Police are appealing for information about the crash, which happened just before 8.15pm, on Friday, September 26, on the A19 southbound between the A690 and B1404 junction.
The circumstances of the crash are still being investigated. However, through initial enquiries, officers have established a Fiat Punto travelling north on the A19 had failed to stop for Durham Police officers.
A short time later, and for reasons yet to be established, the car lost control and crossed the central barrier, colliding with a Renault Megane and Citroen C3 travelling on the opposite carriageway.
Firemen were called to free people from the cars and passengers in the Punto, a woman and two men, were all taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, one man has since been discharged with minor injuries.
The other man has a broken arm and the woman also has minor injuries, both remain in hospital.
The male driver of the Citroen C3 was also taken to the same hospital, where he is being treated for injuries which are not believed to be life threatening.
No-one else was injured as a result of the crash.
The A19 southbound and northbound carriageways at the site of the crash were closed for more than seven hours and diversions put in place.
Two men, aged 34 and 27, and a 31-year-old woman have all been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and bailed.
Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 1303 26/09/14, or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.