Shortly after midnight this morning, police received a report of a collision involving a HGV and a car on the A19 southbound at the A1231 junction.
Emergency services attended and the driver of the car – a 24-year-old man - was found to have suffered fatal injuries.
His family are currently being supported by specialist officers.
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The road was closed for six hours as enquiries were carried out and the vehicles recovered.
A 56-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
He is currently in police custody and is assisting officers with their inquiries.
Police are now eager to hear from anybody who witnessed the collision, or drivers that were in the area at the time and who may have dashcam footage, to get in touch.
Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 2 130319 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The latest incident comes as the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool continue their Safe A19 campaign, which was launched back in 2017.
So far more than 2,100 people have signed a petition to show their support for an inquiry to be carried out as to safety on the road.
When the Safer Roads fund was first announced in 2017, the Government stated that it totalled £175million.
In September 2017, the A19 was rejected funding from the Government’s Safer Roads fund because it did not feature in a list of the top 50 most dangerous A roads in England.
A poll which was run when the campaign launched found that 49% of people want to see extra lanes added on the A19.
A further 14% said improvements should be made at junctions, followed by 8% who think average speed cameras would help.
Extended slip roads and a change of speed limit were both backed with 7% of the vote.