A man and woman are both fighting for their lives following a road crash at Marsden.
The pair, a motorcyclist and pillion passenger, were airlifted to the RVI at Newcastle following the incident on the Coast Road near Marsden Grotto.
Emergency services were called to the scene shortly before 2pm today and the road was closed for several hours while investigators carried out their work.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said the incident involved a motorbike and a car.
She said they were not releasing the details of the injured pair at the moment and it is not believed the driver of the car was injured.
A spokesman for the Great North Air Ambulance said they were called to the scene at 2.05pm.
He said: “We were called to assist the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) after a man and a woman were seriously injured in a road traffic collision involving a motorcycle in Marsden, South Shields.
“Because of the severity of the injuries sustained by both patients, we flew a second aircraft, from Langwathby, near Penrith, to assist.
“The two GNAAS doctor-led trauma teams, supported by their colleagues from NEAS, induced both patients into comas, before they were flown to the RVI in Newcastle for ongoing treatment.
“Both were in a critical condition on arrival at hospital.”
The medics said the two people had suffered life-threatening injuries to their heads, chests, pelvis’ and legs.
Anyone who might have witnessed the crash is urged to call police on 101 quoting reference number 556 or 30/08/17.