People living on Chester Road have spoken of their shock after a woman was airlifted to hospital after a hit and run this afternoon.
The 26-year-old was seriously injured after being hit by what police describe as a pick-up style van, which did not stop at the scene.
Northumbria Police said it had been told by a witness that the woman may have been the victim of a theft just moments before she was struck.
Efforts to find the van and those inside are ongoing as accident investigators continue to work on the stretch of road beside Barclays Bank.
Resident Ben Tibbo, 41, told the Echo: "I was talking to somebody in the street. He said somebody had been hurt on the main road.
"I heard the helicopter come down - I thought at first it was the police helicopter.
"There were a number of ambulances and the police came down and said it was time to move away.
"I saw a female lying on the floor with paramedics around her.
"It was terrible. I felt sick."