The three people arrested after a man was found with 'potentially life-threatening' injuries following a late-night crash have been released under investigation.
He is believed to have been a passenger in a car which ploughed into a row of fences on Success Road, in Philadelphia, at 11.30pm.
The man, who suffered abdominal injuries which have been described as 'potentially life-threatening', was found minutes after the crash in a street a mile away from the scene of the wreckage.
Three people - two men aged 20 and 21 and a 33-year-old woman - were arrested after the car involved in the accident was found abandoned in Claremont Drive.
The three people have now been released under investigation as police continue to appeal for information and witnesses to come forward.
A North East Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We were called to a male patient in his 30s following a road traffic collision. He was unconscious and bleeding with abdominal injuries and was taken to the RVI.”
The spokesman confirmed a piece of wood caused the injuries.
One witness Jack Etherington, who has lived in Ross Lea for 57 years, said: “I was in bed and it must have been just after half past 11 and I heard a lot of people shouting - I thought they must have just come up from the pub.
“But within minutes when I looked out of the bedroom window there was ambulances, police cars and police going about and looking in gardens.”
The 81-year-old added: “When I got up the next morning the police car was out here, it had been there all the night.
“We didn’t know what had happened at first we thought maybe somebody had been stabbed."