A woman has undergone open heart surgery at the scene of a coach crash on an A19 slip road near Seaham.
Emergency services were called to the a crash between a coach and a car on the A19 northbound near the A1018 slip road around 11am today.
The Great North Air Ambulance crew was called to the incident and a spokeswoman has confirmed a woman in her 40s was taken to James Cook Hospital with life threatening injuries.
A spokeswoman said: "We were called at 11.05am and treated a woman her her 40s who was suffering from life threatening injuries.
"A doctor-led team carried out open heart surgery at the scene and the woman was taken by road to hospital where she is in a critical condition."
Three engines from County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene at 11.07am and confirmed via Twitter that one adult was extricated from the crash scene by firefighters using cutting gear.
Firefighters have since left the scene.
Durham Police confirmed the A19 near to the A1018 slip road was closed as well as the roads near to the roundabout by the A1018 junction with the B1285 while the air ambulance attempted to land.
A spokeswoman from Durham Police said: "We were called at 11.04am to the scene of a crash between a coach and car on the northbound side of the A19 near to the turn off for the A1018.
"Officers remain on scene and we have closed the section of the A19 while the air ambulance attempts to land."
The North East Ambulance Service confirmed that two ambulances were on the scene along with three members of the Hazardous Area Response Team.
They also confirmed an air ambulance was in attendance.